Marijuana Media: Germany legalises cannabis! Will NZ’s cannabis industry survive our stalled regulatory regime?

Photo credit: @potgeek

First on the show we cover Cannasouth, the first cannabis company to list on the NZX under the ticker CBD, which has gone into voluntary administration after a “stoush” with secured convertible note holders derailed a capital raise.

Cannasouth needed more funds to remain solvent after spending millions of dollars building pharmaceutical-grade cultivation and manufacturing facilities but struggling to sell products in NZ’s overly regulated medicinal cannabis market. For coverage see:

I really feel for founder Mark Lucas, who started off in the hemp industry at the same time as me, back in 1996. He had a hemp outlet in Victoria Park Market while we opened The Hempstore on lower Queen St. Mark is one of the few running cannabis companies who has really been around. Sucks for all the staff too. Of all the big dreams and visions, it leaves just Helius claiming to grow and manufacture products for patients here.

So, what happened to the promised changes to regulations, which may have avoided this? After very little apparent progress, last September RNZ reported “Medicinal cannabis industry growing as regulation overhaul given green light”. Officials told media in January, after the change of Government, it was still on track for “Q1”. But any changes to the regulations still haven’t been published. The current rumour is they’re back at the Ministries for feedback (read: various officials second-guessing what they think the new government will want).

Germany legalises cannabis

While we sit in limbo-land, Germany just casually legalised cannabis, and with very little controversy. Adults over 18 can now consume it in public and grow three cannabis plants at home. Über!

Non-profit Cannabis Clubs will be allowed from 1st July. These could be started by anyone, have up to 500 members, who would grow a crop share it among the members. These are intended to take away the commercial element while giving consumers a safe place to obtain cannabis as well as messages about safe consumption.

TDB Recommends

I’ve long believed a model like this could have won the cannabis referendum. Some coverage here:

Meanwhile, down South…

The Press reported last week a landscape gardener who lived behind a white picket fence was led out by police, dressed in a hoodie! For more middle class fears, see: “Gardener charged with growing cannabis and importing class A drug

The Press also reported today “The cannabis dealer, the supercars and the $500,000 EQC claim”. Antony Coles took EQC to court but it then emerged he was a “major dealer” with millions of dollars of supercars.

Also down south, the Springfield Hotel will soon reopen under new management and they’ll be sticking to just the booze, thanks, after the previous owner converted part of the hotel to a cannabis grow op.

Mike’s Bites

Stuff reports “Mike Tyson sells cannabis sweets in shape of Evander Holyfield’s ear”, two years after they came out. Tyson credits cannabis with helping him control his demons and find peace with himself.

The cannabis-infused sweets, released by the former boxer’s company Tyson 2.0, come in pugilistic-themed flavours including black eye berry and sour apple punch.

However, Stu Zakim, a cannabis industry publicist, told the New York Post that the product should have found a better frontman than Tyson, who he called a “convicted rapist and wife-beater”.


Women increasingly use cannabis for endometriosis

It was recently world endometriosis awareness week and – with an estimated 120,000 New Zealand women with the condition often misdiagnosed or untreated – Dr. Waseem Alzaher, co-founder of the Cannabis Clinic, pointed to recent findings published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine which show CBD oil is a promising natural treatment for endometriosis pain relief.

“Endometriosis is one of the most common reasons why patients are prescribed medicinal cannabis. By using either CBD oil, or a combination of both CBD and THC, the inflammation and pain symptoms associated with endometriosis may be significantly improved.”

Another new study, from Australia and published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, found medical cannabis products are increasingly used to treat symptoms of endometriosis. It follows a 2021 study of Canadian women, published in the journal PLoS One, which found patients with endometriosis report effectively managing their pain and other symptoms with cannabis.

A previous study of New Zealand women, published in 2020 in the Journal of Women’s Health, found cannabis use mitigates their symptoms of endometriosis. In 2019 an Australian study, published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, said women with endometriosis report that cannabis is most effective at self-managing their pain.

The Listener: Why medicinal cannabis is just what the doctor ordered

Russell Brown wrote about getting his own prescription for medicinal cannabis and raises the issue of Medsafe’s ban on marketing medicinal cannabis having the side effect of suppressing information the products themselves. This includes matching the selection of prescribed buds with a patient’s preferred illicit strain. Russell was after a sativaand found that surprisingly difficult. [paywalled]

Perhaps it’s the terpenes, rather than the botanical name. A new study found limonene terpene reduces THC-induced anxiety. Limonene is often higher in traditional sativas, or hybrids like my favourite Super Lemon Haze, or indeed, in lemons.

Pacific News: Guam cannabis testing in a ‘chicken and egg situation’

RNZ reports a pragmatic Guam senator wants a temporary pause on recreational cannabis testing requirements, hoping it will remove the roadblocks for a cultivation industry.

Guam legalised cannabis in 2019. Although people are freely growing, gifting and exchanging cannabis, the law requires retailers to have their products lab-tested before any can be sold. However, there are no labs in Guam ready to do the testing.

Senator Will Parkinson has introduced a bill that would put a moratorium on testing cannabis. “If I had to choose, my thing would be let the cultivators go first and then have the labs come out after because I would rather have a shortage of labs rather than have product rot on the vine.”

Parkinson describes himself as a “regular smoker” said there is no safety issue. “For years now, cannabis has been unregulated and untested and up to now there are still no cannabis-related fatalities, there was not a wave of cannabis overdoses flooding our hospital.”

It’s the sort of pragmatic approach we need here, before the rest of the industry follows Cannasouth, and to increase safe legal access for patients given more than 90 percent still obtain their cannabis illicitly.


  • The first Thursday of every month is ‘First Thursday’ on Karangahape Road, and this month we had substance checking at The Hempstore thanks to NZ Drug Foundation
  • Whakamana medicinal cannabis club meets every Thursday evening at The Blue Frog, North Wharf near Silo Park

·       It’s 420 Day coming up on Sat 20 April. Auckland J Day in Albert Park is now held the first Saturday in December.



  1. You can lead the stupid to well researched information but can you make them think?
    “Boomers find brain boost in bong rips: slashes risk of * self-reported cognitive decline by 96%”
    Mind you, I have read that there is a fatal overdose factor involved re taking in too much pot.
    It’s a 10 kg block of hash dropped on your head from the top of a ten story building.
    The real and actual reason why we can’t smoke weed or take what we like while vitally knowing what we’re taking, is because we’re bullied into submission by greedy fools.
    Just imagine taking an unknown substance then going into a coma only to wake us as a national party MP in a suit and tie with a desire for deliberately making people’s lives ever more difficult while getting paid far too much by us to do so. Imagine that? Oh. Wait.
    *self-reported cognitive decline
    “Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) is the self-reported experience of worsening or more frequent confusion or memory loss. It is a form of cognitive impairment and one of the earliest noticeable symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.”

    • “Boomers find brain boost in bong rips: slashes risk of * self-reported cognitive decline by 96%”
      Of course self reported cognitive decline will decrease – these booming bongsters will either have forgotten or be in denial!

  2. Andrew Little: “Legalising cannabis needs a mandate”. Well no, a government can just change the law as we see here with Germany (and our 49.3 to 50.7% referendum wasn’t a mandate any more than taking the vaccine was mandated). New Zealand is less progressive than conservative Germany ffs, a country arming Israel to kill civilians and Ukraine to bring the world to the brink of nuclear disaster.

  3. Scared of their own shadow, Labour, after ‘the winter of discontent’, 2000. By the fucken rich. Who’d ruled us, miserably, the previous 16 years. Not the uplifting of ordinary folk , avoiding that glare again is their main mission statement– unofficially, of course. Not saying it out loud has got them along this far. As ideals brought them to power in 1935.

    I rather hate Jacinda and grant for their shit. But I’ve never voted for Roger’s party, spoiled my first vote in’87 for the lack of choice.

  4. Look, part of the problem with the cannabis lobby is that they can’t seem to get their act together. They’re perennially disorganised and have seemingly no awareness of the need for incremental reform as a useful strategy toward an ultimate liberalisation objective. When you’re talking about decriminalising cannabis, I suspect most people would be okay with it in the context of personal use and growing a small crop for personal use. Perhaps cannabis cafes, similar to the ones in the Netherlands, might be an option. However, wholesale legalisation may have been a step too far for many Kiwis in 2020, especially given how the liquor and tobacco corporates carry on. It might not be in any future context, if an incremental decriminalisation step was taken first. But as a whole, the cannabis lobby needs to do a far better job of establishing particular messaging and sticking to it.


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