New Zealand's "king" of legal cannabis faces trafficking
charges in Australia after allegedly being found with a
"commercial quantity" of drugs.
Matthew Wielenga was arrested about 8pm on Friday in the
Melbourne suburb of Southbank. The 30-year-old is facing
charges of trafficking a commercial quantity of synthetic
cannabinoids and two counts of possessing a drug of
The Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday heard he was found
with more than 100kg of Kronic, a synthetic marijuana
product, and 1kg of white powder said to be a synthetic
cocaine sold as Diablo.
The alleged drugs are yet to be analysed and Wielenga had
made no admissions, the court heard.
Defence lawyer Greg Barns said the elements of Kronic kept
changing and might not fall within the substances banned by
Wielenga was granted bail on a A$100,000 surety and is to
reappear in court on March 18.
Dressed in jeans and a dark T-shirt, he appeared to be
listening intently throughout the court hearing.
The New Zealander must stay at an address in the suburb of
Richmond, report to local police daily and surrender his
Wielenga is a director of Lightyears Ahead, the company
responsible for bringing Kronic to New Zealand. Kronic is
laced with chemicals mimicking cannabis and is often much
stronger than the real thing. It was banned in New Zealand in
Wielenga, who ran his lucrative Kronic empire from Albany on
Auckland's North Shore, is understood to have travelled to
Australia with about nine of his employees last week. The
group were in Australia for a music festival, a source said.
Nisha Din, described as the general manager of Lightyears
Ahead, said the firm strongly denied any illegal activity.
She referred the Herald to Wellington law firm Chen Palmer.
Partner Mai Chen did not return calls last night.
Wielenga describes his party pill business on his Facebook
page: "I run my own company that provides products to get
people high. They are sold all over the world, which gives me
a great excuse to travel."
- Anna Leask, NZ Herald