Marijuana Media – Vote for J Day’s new date; Cannabis is not to be sniffed at; NZ’s first homegrown bud approved!


Kia ora! You can help us decide the new date for J Day, cannabis aromas the common theme to media coverage this week – but how distinctive is cannabis? – and NZ’s first locally-grown bud approved, this week on Marijuana Media on 95bFM, with hosts Chris Fowlie from The Hempstore and Aneeka from bFM Drive.

Hempstore hosts pop-up J Day as official Auckland J Day postponed, new date TBC

The annual celebration of all things cannabis has become another victim of the extreme weather events we’ve all been experiencing this year – Auckland in particular. We had to make the difficult decision to postpone the event, right before going on air for Marijuana Media on 95bFM.

Now we’d like to hear from you about what your preferred new date would be. Please cast a vote on our Facebook page or send NORML a message (@normlnz).

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Options are: Saturday 7 October (one week before the election), Saturday 14 October (election day), Saturday 2 December (the first Saturday of summer), Saturday 16 December (one day shy of the 5-year anniversary of the passage of NZ’s medicinal cannabis law), or propose another date.

Last weekend J Day events were held in Kaitaia, Hastings, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The only media coverage was in the Otago Daily Times which talked to organiser Joe Nicholson and led with “Pro cannabis supporters gathered in the Octagon on Saturday to promote legislative change as part of J Day.” (See – Cannabis smokers gather for Day to support change)

In Auckland, The Hemp Store hosted a last-minute pop-up mini J Day inside and outside the store. A couple of stalls set up, with live music from Groovehouse feat. Kiwi Ras performing their new anthem “J Day”:

Check out the full video on Youtube, and if you like it please vote for ‘Kiwi Ras – J Day 2023’ on the 95bFM Top 10! You can also call the studio on 309 3879, or text “vote Kiwi Ras – J Day 2023” to 5395 before 6pm Wednesdays.

Cannabis: not to be sniffed at

The ODT also reported this week Smell alerts police to $50k cannabis stash

Twenty cannabis plants and a stash of bud worth $50,000 were discovered when police noticed a distinctive aroma while visiting a property on an unrelated matter.

We give Police significant and intrusive search powers, based on their subjective claims of smell, which can result in drugs charges that can ruin people’s lives. But just how ‘distinctive’ is the smell of weed?

Aromas from cannabis are produced by terpenes. These are flavonoids produced in the crystally trichomes which also produce cannabinoids, but terpenes are not exclusive to cannabis.

Terpenes occur in all the plants we call herbs, many fruit  and vegetables and other plants we call useful. For example, my favourite strain Super Lemon Haze is high in limonene which is also in lemons.

Te Karariki is high in pinene which is also in pine trees, while sedating strains such as OG Kush are high in myrcene which is also found in hops, lavender and mangoes.

People can easily confuse the source and leap to conclusions.

A retired couple falsely  accused of soiling their hired campervan with the odious odour of cannabis was fined a $200 cleaning fee by GO Rentals, however the fine was lifted after much arguing, social media posting and media coverage – because the smell was not actually cannabis, but their wetsuits stashed in the boot (See TVNZ 1 – Couple shocked by $200 rental car charge over alleged cannabis smell).

The thing is, they did stink out the car. GO Rentals was keen to fine the couple when they thought the odour was cannabis, but dropped this when they accepted it was from wetsuits.

But the car stank regardless – and I’d much rather drive a rental with floral fragrances than stinking of musty old wet rubber. It’s another example of society’s double standard where cannabis users are treated worse than others.

I’ve been caught out similarly. Back in 2001 I was arrested on Karangahape Road, not far from where The Hemp Store is now, after being searched by police conducting a training “sweep” of the area – searching people for no reason other than to train new officers in how to extract evidence from people’s pockets.

One officer was so convinced I stank of weed she swore at me like a sailor. Yet it was the freshly ground baggie of coffee from Brazil café in my pocket that she was smelling, not the tiny scrap of bud they eventually found.

In the subsequent court case, the search was ruled unlawful, the evidence inadmissible, and a new precedent was set whereby police could not use the lame “I can smell cannabis” excuse to search people in public places.

Border Patrol

It’s still an issue at our borders, where Customs run drug sniffing dogs to perform warrantless searches of people in public areas, even though medicinal cannabis is legal here and in many other countries.

This is often paraded for entertainment in the voyeuristic TV show Border Patrol.

My friend and fellow cannabis activist got a taste of that this week. Christopher Coker, also known as Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party candidate HempStarChrist, and the wearer (like our Activist of the Year, Gary Chiles) of a head-to-toe cannabis leaf suit ensemble, had travelled to Australia for Mardi Grass in Nimbin.

He took his prescribed medicinal cannabis bud and vaporiser with him.

No problem on arrival to Australia. Coming back to NZ, Christopher had declared the controlled drug cannabis medication but a dog indicated him, which got the attention of the nearby film crew from GreenStone Productions.

Christopher  was happy to be filmed, with the search fulfilling his personal mission of entertaining and educating those around, and left the airport with his medicinal cannabis, taken from NZ to Australia and back again.

You’ll be able to see it all on an upcoming episode of Border Patrol which screens on TVNZ 1.

NZ’s first locally grown bud approved

Great news for Kiwi patients and growers, with NUBU receiving NZ’s first approval for locally grown cannabis bud to be supplied to patients. The 25% THC bud is grown down south by Kalyx.

I reached out to Mark Dye from NUBU and I understand they have plenty on hand, and it will be available to patients this coming week. I think NUBU and Kaylx have done really well to navigate the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme and the so-called minimum quality standard (which sets the highest quality standard in the world).

No one else has managed to do this, so it will be interesting to see if this opens the door to more. I certainly hope this is the first of many, but I wonder what it smells like? I’m betting it will be nicer on the nose than old wet rubber.

Coming up:

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. It’s absurd that Aotearoa has been importing all our medical cannabis products when some of the best buds in the world are growing right here. Fantastic news that we’ve finally got a local supplier approved to sell whole flower for medicinal use. Hopefully more will follow, and I hope NUBU have documented the process and put out up online somewhere so other suppliers can learn from their experiences.

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