National | Elections

Legalise it? 2020 cannabis referendum confirmed

Voters in New Zealand’s 2020 election will have another choice on their hands after Justice Minister Andrew Little today confirmed a referendum on the legalisation of cannabis will be on the ballot.

The news comes hot on the heels of medical marijuana legislation passed by parliament last week.

The Green Party sought the referendum as part of their confidence and supply agreement with the Labour-NZ First government.

Māori-owned medicinal cannabis company, Hikurangi Enterprises' managing director Panapa Ehau says New Zealand could be a world leader in cannabis cultivation and export.

"If whānau Māori or whānau that are in this industry are put at the centre of this, which there's a good chance that will happen, it's going to create a whole lot of opportunities both economic and in the well-being space for our people."

Over 4,700 people were convicted of cannabis charges in Aotearoa over the 2017-2018 period.