Cheat Sheet: is there really a bumper cannabis crop coming?

Welcome to the Cheat Sheet, a clickable, shareable, bite-sized FAQ about the news of the moment – all the info you need to hold your own in a two-minute watercooler chat. Today, Don Rowe outlines the latest from NZ’s marijuana farming scene. 


What’s going on?

The New Zealand Herald is reporting that a “bumper growing season” is in store for the nation’s cannabis horticulturists, as rain in Northland hydrates the region’s sizeable plantations.

What does this mean and for whom?

The police are asking people to remain vigilant, as even adequately watered plants require some maintenance and, inevitably, harvesting. Considering the majority of weed in the area is grown outdoors, there are sure to be a few forestry blocks and remote farm plots seeing some activity.

Growers will be relieved regardless as a bumper crop means their stock will last much longer into the year, when predominately indoor weed hits the market. The growth cycle of a cannabis plant combined with weather conditions in most of the country means that by early summer supply is far outpaced by demand and prices accordingly skyrocket. High prices may be good to a certain point, but irrelevant when there’s literally not enough to go around.

Consumer pressure will also go down, and the humble tinny should return much sooner to its traditional pricing of $20 per gram. In fact, weed is one of the few Kiwi commodities to resist inflation, maintaining the same approximate value during most of the year since time immemorial (at least to this correspondent).

Of course some places like Morrinsville charge $25 – but what good has ever come out of the ‘ville?

Isn’t this stuff legal anyway?

Yes. Kind of. Doctors were recently given the power to prescribe and import non-psychoactive cannabidiol-based medication without acquiring laborious ministerial approval, though much of it remains prohibitively expensive. There will be a referendum on recreational use some time before 2020, while for now we operate under a model of de facto decriminalisation.

Who cares?

Human rights advocates, medical practitioners, the cops and plenty of good old Kiwi battlers – we’ve got some of the highest recreational usage in the world, after all.

The last word

Whatcha gonna do when a collie man comes for you?


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