Three charges against a Whangarei duo arrested after a self-styled "cannabis club" in Whangarei was busted by police were dismissed at their trial due to insufficient evidence.

Brian Thomas Borland, 60, and Sarah Gwenneth Gillgren, 28, are on trial before a jury in the Whangarei District Court after both pleaded not guilty to eight charges.

Borland has denied charges of cultivating cannabis, selling cannabis oil, possession of cannabis oil for supply, permitting premises to be used for growing cannabis and theft of electricity worth $20,106.

Both were members of the Daktory Social Club in the city's Port Rd industrial area. The alleged offences were committed between December last year and January this year.


Gillgren has pleaded guilty to one charge of cultivating cannabis and another of selling cannabis. She has denied charges of permitting premises to be used for growing cannabis, possession of cannabis oil for supply and supplying cannabis oil.

At the completion of the crown case before lunch yesterday, defence lawyers Arthur Fairley, acting for Gillgren, and Kelly Ellis, for Borland, applied to have some charges dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Judge Duncan Harvey discharged Borland on charges of theft of electricity and possession of cannabis oil for supply, while the charge of permitting premises to be used for growing cannabis against Gillgren was also dismissed.

Borland elected to neither give evidence nor call witnesses while Gillgren chose to give evidence.

She told the jury she used cannabis oil for medicinal purposes after suffering from mental illness.

Gillgren said she had been on anti-depressants and found cannabis helpful. She did not sell or give cannabis oil to anyone, she said.

Club executives spoke about giving or selling cannabis plants in a safe environment to those who needed them, she said.

Gillgren said she thought it was a good idea.


Earlier, Constable Denham Kelly told the jury Borland had become aggressive and hostile and had torn the search warrant given to him in the premises.

Judge Harvey will sum up the case this morning, with the jury then expected to retire to consider its verdict.