New Zealand will hold a binding referendum on legalising recreational cannabis in 2020, Justice Minister Andrew Little said today.

New Zealand will hold its next general election in 2020.

A referendum on the issue was a key part of the confidence and supply deal the Labour party signed with the Greens when it won the election in 2017.

Mr Little told New Zealand media on Tuesday morning that the specific question still needed to be worked out, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Last week the New Zealand government partially legalised medical cannabis by immediately allowing terminally ill patients to use it, although rules for wider use will be formalised over the next two years.

The new law, the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill, also means that marijuana products can be manufactured in New Zealand for both domestic and overseas markets.

The New Zealand government also announced changes to drug laws generally last week, saying people who make or supply synthetic drugs will face life in prison, but giving police discretion about how to treat people caught using them.

Medical cannabis legalisation is spreading quickly around the world with the UK and South Korea just two of the nations which have pulled the trigger on what could be a huge industry.

But so far only Venezuela and, most famously, Canada have moved to codify the recreational use of the drug in law.

In Australia, based on the last debate in the Senate, the major parties are still very opposed to the concept of legalising recreational weed.

Aussie pot stock execs have landed on the round number of five years as to when they thing casual use of the drug might be legalised, but most say it’s a matter of time.