Into the light: New Zealand’s cannabis growers gear up for referendum

A nationwide search is underway for unique strains of the plant, as the country prepares to vote on full legalisation

Dave has been growing cannabis since he was 14 years old, when he began using it to treat his ADHD. Known in his part of New Zealand as a “green fairy”– someone who grows and supplies cannabis to patients suffering from pain and disability – he estimates he has supplied more than 1,000 people over the last decade.

With a few hundred plants on the go, the 33-year-old says what was once a hobby has morphed into a full-time occupation, mostly avoiding the attention of police.

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