Article written by
Dipak HemrajHead of Research and Education
Table of contents
Marijuana is illegal in New Caledonia. Marijuana possession, cultivation, sale, or distribution are unlawful in New Caledonia.
Medical Marijuana Laws in New Caledonia
Recreational cannabis is illegal in New Caledonia, and there are no medical marijuana laws or programs allowing for legal access.
Marijuana possession or any other related activity (e.g., buying, selling, growing, smoking) is criminal. Penalties range from two months to one year of imprisonment or a fine. Trafficking, cultivating, or possessing significant amounts of cannabis will likely bring harsher punishments.
What to Know About About Medical Cannabis in New Caledonia
Although medical and recreational marijuana use and possession of cannabis are illegal in New Caledonia, it is noted that the French territory is a popular area to cultivate cannabis due to the island’s semi-tropical climate and its potential as a cash crop.
Moreover, it is thought that hard drugs (e.g., opioids, cocaine) are rarely found in New Caledonia, with cannabis being the main and most popular illicit substance. However, local law enforcement is notoriously anti-drug and will eradicate cannabis plantations should they find them.
Can You Grow Cannabis In New Caledonia?
It is illegal to grow cannabis for personal use or medical purposes in New Caledonia.
The Bottom Line
Recreational cannabis is illegal in New Caledonia, and there are no immediate plans to establish a cannabis industry or a medical cannabis program on the island.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Hemp Legal in Caledonia?
There is no indication that the New Caledonian legal system differentiates between hemp and psychoactive cannabis.
Growing THC-free hemp legally on the island may be possible with the appropriate license and government approval. Still, hemp cultivation does not seem to be front of mind for the island’s inhabitants.
Is CBD Legal in New Caledonia?
Little information is available on how the authorities of New Caledonia approach hemp and CBD.
As a “sui generis” (i.e., self-governing) collectivity and territory of overseas France, New Caledonia may allow for the sale of CBD products (e.g., CBD oil, CBD topicals) as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC, just like France. However, this is not necessarily the case, and CBD may also be prohibited on the island.