Christchurch man insists he's no drug dealer after selling off massive cactus containing class-A drug

A Christchurch man who is selling parts of a cactus containing a class-A substance says he's no drug dealer.

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Jonny Small says his aim was to keep the history of the 30-year-old giant cactus alive by relocating it. Source: 1 NEWS

Jonny Small says his aim was to keep the genetics of the 30-year old giant San Pedro cactus alive.

"I feel like we've been made out to be drug dealers in a way which is completely wrong," Mr Small told 1 NEWS.

The towering seven-meter-high cactus contains mescaline, an alkaloid class-A substance that's a known hallucinogenic and has a similar effect to LSD and magic mushrooms.

The pieces are selling on social media from $10 through to several hundred.

"Of course, I knew I was going to run into issues that's why I've been very selective of the people I've been selling it to, it's pretty easy to look on their Facebook profile to see if they like cactus or not," Mr Small says.

Legally the cactus can be cultivated for ornamental purposes, but not for recreational use.

That could land you in prison for six months for possession, or up to life for supply.

Police have confirmed this matter is not being investigated and say when Mr Small spoke to staff today he was advised to seek legal advice on his plans - and he's done just that.

"The advice I've been given is as long as I'm not manufacturing it for drug use then it's perfectly OK to sell it."