What’s claimed to be the first officially verified locally grown and made THC based cannabis medicines in New Zealand are good to go.
Helius Therapeutics announced last week two new products had met the nation’s strict quality standard; verified by New Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Agency on December 21.
It was a very positive end to what was generally a positive year for the company.
The latest news followed Helius receiving GMP certification to produce THC extracts and manufacture medicines containing the cannabinoid in mid-December. And just a week before that in early December, the company was awarded Good Agricultural and Collection Practice (GACP) certification for its facility in East Tamaki, Auckland.
“We are very pleased to bring more NZ grown, NZ made medicinal cannabis products to Kiwi patients,” said Carmen Doran, chief executive of Helius Therapeutics.
The latest products will also be exported this year to customers in Europe. The local GMP certification meets European standards, known as EU-GMP.
While a highly successful year for the company, 2022 was by no means an easy one.
“The GMP certification process has been exhaustive, and rightly so,” said Ms. Doran. “We’re making medicines, so there is no room for cutting corners.”
Helius began the long journey for GMP certification as a start-up in 2018; so this has been four years in the making.
A full listing of medicinal cannabis products that meet New Zealand’s minimum quality standard can be found here. At the time of writing, there were dozens of products listed from various sources.
“With the launch of these products, New Zealand patients now have access to NZ made products across the spectrum of oral solutions,” says Helius. “No longer do they have to rely on imported products which have had supply delays throughout 2022 and can be priced considerably higher.”
THC and CBD are the two most thoroughly researched naturally occurring cannabinoids in cannabis. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid that produces psychoactive effects, but may also have many other health benefits. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating compound also being pursued for its potential health benefits.