Unleashing the Potential of New Zealand Grown Cannabis Medicines
Two of New Zealand’s largest medicinal cannabis companies have signed a supply contract that will pave the way for increased exports.
A five year multi-million-dollar deal between Marlborough-based cultivator Puro and Auckland-based Helius Therapeutics is New Zealand’s largest to date.
Under the partnership, Puro will supply over 10 tonnes of organic medicinal cannabis to Helius over the next five years, the equivalent of approximately five shipping containers of dried cannabis flowers.
Carmen Doran, chief executive of Helius Therapeutics, says the partnership is an important milestone for the sunrise industry in New Zealand.
“It gives Helius a secure local supply chain of premium, organic medicinal cannabis which we process into 100% New Zealand-grown, manufactured, and branded medicines to support our future products.”
Ms Doran expects New Zealand made cannabis medicines will be popular, with Helius unleashing its exporting strategy this year.
Puro’s managing director Tim Aldridge says the agreement is significant in its size and scale and signals for the future.
“It’s the start of a long-term commercial partnership between Helius and Puro, where we’ll work together to develop the local industry, establishing pathways for an exciting new export industry for New Zealand,” said Mr Aldridge.
Puro is the largest cannabis grower in New Zealand. Its outdoor crops were recently granted organic status from New Zealand certifier BioGro.
“We’re the only certified organic grower in Australasia, so we’ve had a huge interest in our product as a result. We expect to be able to export New Zealand’s first shipment in 2022,” he said.
Helius is already extracting Puro’s medicinal cannabis at its East Auckland facility. However, more will be supplied after the South Island cultivator’s forthcoming March harvest.
In July 2021, Helius was issued with the local industry’s first GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) Licence to Manufacture Medicines by the Ministry of Health.
Ms Doran says that New Zealand’s GMP is recognised throughout Europe, which opens considerable export possibilities in countries such as Germany.
“The global medicinal cannabis market is expected to grow to over NZ$60 billion by 2025, so this industry has the potential to become one of New Zealand’s largest export earners.
“This supply agreement reflects just how far our industry has come in a few short years and gives Helius the necessary scale to take premium Kiwi grown and made products to the world.”
Source: The New Zealand Shipping Gazette and Puro New Zealand
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