Following extensive consultations and careful deliberation, the Fiji Cabinet has given the green light to establish the medicinal cannabis industry in the country.

A Taskforce was established in August 2023 to carry out national and community consultations on the proposal.

It was also mandated to oversee the feasibility of this industry and assess the laws required for this emerging market.

The Taskforce has also carried out media engagements, public and community consultations and private sector engagements.

A total of 17 nationwide and community consultations from 09 October 2023 to 28 November 2023 were carried out providing the Taskforce with insights into the socio-economic impacts of this proposal.

The Taskforce registered a total of 513 participants, where 287 members of the public engaged during the community consultations, and 226 participants engaged during the public consultations.

The policy framework guiding the establishment of the medicinal cannabis industry outlines the Taskforce’s work to include (but not limited to), the following:

(i) develop a comprehensive feasibility study that includes conducting nationwide consultation;
(ii) establish a mechanism to allow foreign investors to establish the medicinal cannabis industry in Fiji;
(iii) review and amend relevant laws to facilitate the medicinal cannabis industry in Fiji; and
(iv) devise and create the right and appropriate policies and laws for the medicinal cannabis industry in Fiji.

Cabinet noted that the Market Development Facility (MDF) will fund the feasibility study.

In addition, the Ministry of Trade will enter into a three-year MOU with Aether Pacific Pharmaceuticals Ltd trading as Medical Kiwi, to establish a framework for cooperation and collaboration between Medical Kiwi and the Government for the development of medicinal cannabis in Fiji.

Medical Kiwi is a registered company in New Zealand. It is a market leader in New Zealand, in the cultivation and export of medicinal cannabis and cannabidiol to export markets using innovative science and technology.

Medical Kiwi intends to build an extraction and manufacturing facility in Fiji. The facility is aimed to eventually obtain the Good Manufacturing Practices certification for the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical markets.

When the medical cannabis industry is established by law and policy in Fiji for cultivation and export, Medical Kiwi would still be required to apply for the appropriate licence and adhere to the rules and regulations stipulated.

Medical Kiwi endeavours to invest a minimum of FJD$65 million (US$32.5 million) within 3 to 5 years, subject to the extent permissible by law.