A West Coast man has been discharged without conviction for supplying medicinal cannabis to thousands of sick people.
John Robert Patrick was elated after his appearance in the Greymouth District Court on Friday.
Patrick is known as a "green fairy", a term used to describe cannabis growers and suppliers who network to help patients on compassionate grounds.
Judge Jane Farish said she would discharge Patrick without conviction and wished him well to become a registered supplier of medicinal cannabis.
Patrick was charged with cultivating cannabis, producing cannabis, possession of cannabis and a representative charge of supplying cannabis.
The police summary of facts says Patrick went to the Greymouth Post Shop and posted two packages on July 2017.
The packages contained three 50-gram tubs of a balm made with cannabis and coconut oil.
Post Shop staff noticed the distinct smell of cannabis emanating from the packages and contacted police.
Patrick posted four more packages on August 8, 2017.
All of the packages were seized by police, who then searched Patrick's Barrytown home in October 2017 and found 931g of dried cannabis, 53 plants and 14 tubs of cannabis balm.
Patrick showed police a cupboard in his bedroom where he kept "mother plants and clones", and a room that was dedicated to growing cannabis.
"The defendant stated that he had used alcohol and drugs a lot in his younger days but in 1994 became sober and trained as a drug and alcohol counsellor. After struggling with pain from a broken back he researched into the use of marijuana and started using it for pain relief," the summary of facts says.
"He felt the need to help other people as cannabis had helped him. He has been productive at this level for about two years and is doing it to help people as he believes it is his purpose in life."
Some of the plants found had low THC content. Others had high THC content and were used for cancer sufferers.
"He doesn't sell it but does accept a koha, which pays for the power and for the plant food. He believes it is God's will because of the way it balances out and it all works out," the summary says.
He told police patients rubbed the balm on their skin or took it as a suppository. It was useful for treating arthritis and did not make people high.
Outside court, Patrick was supported by his lawyer, Sue Grey, and Nelson medicinal cannabis campaigner Rose Renton.
Renton said Patrick had helped thousands of New Zealanders.
Patrick said he was relieved with the outcome.
Grey said Patrick intended to become a registered medicinal cannabis supplier, but could not have done that with a conviction.
Westport woman Linda Fenn, who suffers from a rare chronic kidney disease, said Patrick was a "selfless, compassionate" man.
"I was being left to inhumanely suffer bedridden and in a wheelchair. His balm gave me an appetite so I could eat, helped me sleep and made my pain more bearable.
"He spent hours with me on the phone when I was feeling anxious and travelled to talk, educate and help me as much as he could. I offered to pay him for his medicinal products ... he refused to take any money," she said.
The Government has passed its medicinal cannabis bill, which will establish a regulated scheme within a year and give those close to death a legal defence before then.