The Legal Status of Cannabis in Tauranga
Cannabis is one of the most widely used psychoactive substances in New Zealand. It is estimated that at least 15% of the world’s total cannabis consumption can be attributed to the Oceania region, inclusive of Australian and Polynesia. Despite the widespread consumption of marijuana products, recreational use is still illegal.
In Tauranga – as with the rest of New Zealand – cannabis is legal but only for medical use. Prior to December 2018, all forms of cannabis were considered illegal. Following a bill passed in 2018, cannabis is now legal for terminally and chronically ill New Zealanders who have an approved prescription.
While the bill has been passed that permits medical use of marijuana, many potential medical marijuana patients may have to wait at least a year while the government works on its implementation strategy. For individuals who are terminally ill, exceptions can be made. However, the vast majority of patients will simply have to wait while the government irons out the process.
All forms of recreational cannabis are still illegal in New Zealand – and therefore, also in Tauranga. Despite the strong opposition of the law on the use of recreational cannabis, a vast majority of the population still utilises cannabis recreationally. A poll conducted in 2017 by the New Zealand Drug Foundation proved that 65% of New Zealanders support the use of cannabis recreationally.
Buying Cannabis in Tauranga
Following the amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act, it is now possible to purchase marijuana legally as a licensed medical marijuana patient. However, though the bill has been passed, it may be a while till the government sorts out how it will be implemented. Patients who are terminally ill will be able to access marijuana but others will simply have to exercise some patience.
Recreational cannabis, though illegal in New Zealand, can be sourced and purchased. It is still widely used in the city and common around the nation. If you wish to purchase cannabis for recreational use within Tauranga, the only option would be to source it illegally via the black market.
How Much is Cannabis in Tauranga?
The prices of cannabis on the black market vary depending on factors such as strains, location and supplier. Aside from these factors, the price is also determined by the quantity of the product. Cannabis is sold in measures of grams and ounces.
- A ‘Tinny’ — the term ‘tinny’ is New Zealand slang. A tinny is a small package of cannabis wrapped in tinfoil. This is the smallest quantity of cannabis most dealers will allow for purchase. In weight, a tinny is roughly 1 gram of cannabis. This is a great amount for beginners and light consumers. It costs approximately $20.
- A 50 Bag — as the name implies, this pack of cannabis is worth $50. Although there is no exact weight to this bag, it usually ranges from 3 to 4 grams. This is purely dependent on how generous the dealer is.
- A ‘Hundy’ Bag — as the name implies, a hundy bag will set anyone seeking to purchase it back by $100. This pack of cannabis should contain approximately 7 grams of the substance.
- An Ounce— an ounce of cannabis is approximately 28 grams and varies in price depending on where the cannabis was cultivated. Cannabis cultivated outdoors is relatively cheaper than cannabis cultivated indoors. An ounce of indoor grown cannabis will set you back somewhere around $300-$350 whereas an ounce of outdoor grown cannabis will set you back $200-$300.
Purchasing cannabis in mass quantities is normally a more cost-effective option.
Is Synthetic Cannabis a Suitable Alternative?
Synthetic cannabis is a man-made psychoactive created to mimic the effects of cannabis in humans. Often referred to as an alternative to natural cannabis, synthetic cannabis is also illegal in New Zealand – and for good reason! Synthetic cannabis is extremely dangerous. Synthetic cannabis poses a far greater risk to those who consume it than natural cannabis. The negative effects of synthetic cannabis include hallucinations, severe vomiting and even death. These deaths have been witnessed around the world, including New Zealand.
While cannabis will hopefully be available to legally purchase in Tauranga in the near future, synthetic cannabis is dangerous and should stay illegal.