Marijuana Media on 95bfm: Drugs detected in Auckland air shamefully low in THC. This is serious


Kia ora! Auckland air needs more THC, local growers get packing, and will Medsafe try to ban laughing gas? This week’s Marijuana Media show on 95bFM, with hosts Jonny from bFM Drive and Chris Fowlie from The Hempstore.


[Stream the pot-cast of this show on 95bFM] [download mp3]

Drugs detected in Auckland air shamefully low in THC

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THC, nicotine, methamphetamine, and caffeine have been detected in Downtown Auckland’s air, according to a new study from University of Auckland researchers led by Dr Joel Rindelaub.

The media have gone wild, with stories in Newshub, the Herald, RNZ, Stuff and probably all around the world.

But the real takeaway is that the filters located at the corner of Quay and Customs Streets picked up, to our deep shame, meth at rates higher than found in similar studies overseas and found less THC than overseas. WTF!

Aucklanders need to roll up, get down to the waterfront and consume more cannabis. We have our reputation to think about!

Next Thursday 20 April is international 420 Day, and J Day is coming up on Saturday 6 May, two days of traditional customary rites associated with cannabis culture, so we hope Dr Joel is still taking measurements.

Local growers get packing

While consumers here, including tourists, enjoy one of the world’s best schemes for prescribing cannabis – with any doctor able to prescribe bud to any patient, for any reason, and an updated list of contacts at The Hempstore – it is still tough and slow going for local producers.

Some good news this week, with the Ministry of Health awarding Helius Therapeutics GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certification for drying and finishing medicinal cannabis flower.

The Auckland-based manufacturer, backed by billionaire Guy Haddleton, has poured eye-watering sums of money into their East Tamaki factory which they say is now being stuffed with flowering plants destined for local patients “later this year” and for export markets (listen to the interview on NewstalkZB).

1 News reported this week Washington growers are failing pesticides tests because of spray drift or old chemicals in their land. This is also a risk here, with widespread use of poisons on horticultural and farming land meaning it can be very difficult for outdoor growers to pass NZ’s stringent quality standards. These are set to change later this year, but until they do it is very difficult for grow cannabis here for local consumers.

Tairawhiti-based Rua Biosciences confirmed it is ceasing local GMP production, and will supply local patients and export markets via their Australian manufacturing partner, CANN Group. Rua said they will leverage their IP and genetic portfolio. They have filed for a product approval in Poland and plan to enter the German market.

Will Medsafe try to ban laughing gas (again)?

Medsafe said it is looking into issues around the supply of Nos, or nangs, after the UK’s Michael Gove announced a review of laws there, and Newshub found laughing gas for sale on K Road (Gove himself has been labelled a hypocrite for pushing to ban Nos while admitting to cocaine use).

NZ Drug Foundation executive director Sarah Helm told Newshub, “When you think about the disproportionate nature of say, a young person trying out cannabis, or in this case nitrous oxide, they’re probably going to have short-lived consequences, but the consequence of a criminal conviction is life-long.”

On Radio NZ, Helm said “it’s not the top of the concern list here at all,” and the government had much more important things to deal with. “As a result of the moral panic around it in the UK, I hear that are also now restrictions on women being able to access it for childbirth. Let’s be proportional in our considerations here.”

Medsafe Group manager Chris James said, “It is Medsafe’s opinion that retailers supplying recreational users bear a responsibility for the harm this activity may cause.”

That sounds like controlling retail, not criminalising users. The Ministry of Health said it was a matter for the Police. However, the police said it was best to contact the Ministry of Health.

NZ’s party-pill experiment, twenty years later

The latest round of media hysteria over laughing gas comes twenty years after New Zealand’s experiment with party pills and other synthetics.

Vice covered The 2000s Party Pill: How Legal MDMA Alternatives Came and Went From NZ Dairies while Stuff interviewed Matt Bowden for their feature, Everything that happened after: Former party pill king Matt Bowden on going broke, and his new business idea – new, custom-designed psychotherapeutic compounds based on MDMA, Ketamine and psychedelics like LSD.

Harry’s drug honesty may make Royal homeless

Prince Harry may never get US citizenship after his drug use admission, reports the NZ Herald. US immigration takes a very dim view of public admissions of drug use, despite cannabis being legal for half their population and psychedelics decriminalised in several jurisdictions for therapeutic use.

In his book Spare, Harry admitted to using cannabis, cocaine, and magic mushrooms. During TV interviews, he also admitted to using ayahuasca, a Class-A hallucinogen which originates from the Amazon rainforest, to cope with the grief that persisted throughout his life following his mother Princess Diana’s death.

Coming up:

  • Substance testing at The Hempstore this Saturday 15th April
  • 420 Day this coming Thursday 20 April
  • J Day is on Saturday 7 May in Albert Park, proudly presented by The Hemp Store and NORML


Marijuana Media airs every Thursday at 4:20pm on 95bFM, with your hosts bFM Drive’s Jonny and Chris Fowlie from The Hempstore. Stream or download the pot-cast for this show here or hundreds of previous Marijuana Media shows at (or via iTunes / RSS feed).


  1. I reckon test the air for smoke belching from domestic chimneys in winter, this would be a million times more dangerous to health than this deranged reefer madness illusion. Also why is a spliff illegal in NZ but the US president’s son can prance around in his undies on camera while weighing out large bags of blow?

  2. Now that we know where they are monitoring the air that we exhale I am sure we can do better.
    Nice read. Keep us updated where we can exhale and gain some notoriety or fame for our country.

  3. Lively subjects, I’ll look out for these. It is important that we don’t just stick to the main traintrack approach to society. There are so many branch lines that we miss them.

    James old Brit track Sit Down (with lyrics) – where he broaches the truth that some of us know we are ridiculous as a whole society, only some of us admit it, this is probably old hat but I think it’s always new. It’s awefully good.

    And for males looking for something better than the woke female for example of emotional friendship – The Duet from The Pearl Fishers I think ‘In the Depths of the Temple’.
    I bet there isn’t a better male duet to appreciate.
    Hvorostovsky & Kaufmann – Pearl Fishers duet (Note Hvorotovsky RIP 2017)

    Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Renowned Baritone, Dies At 55
    NPR › deceptivecadence › 2017/11/22
    22/11/2017 — The Russian baritone known for his burnished voice died Wednesday. He announced in 2015 that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

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