The Kiwi cannabis collaborations continue – this time between two leading players on the New Zealand scene; Medical Kiwi and Puro.
The pair have inked a production and supply contract involving medical cannabis products destined for Europe. Puro is to provide Medical Kiwi freshly-harvested cannabis flower – five tonnes of it in the contract’s first year. Medical Kiwi will use its drying plant in Christchurch for initial processing of the flower; ensuring it meets requirements of European customers.
Sales to an unspecified number of customers are expected to kick off in the first half of next year.
“There’s huge demand globally for high-quality pharmaceutical cannabis and our partnership with Medical Kiwi will help put New Zealand-grown medical cannabis on the world map,” said Puro Executive Chair Tim Aldridge.
Medical Kiwi Chair Aldo Miccio believes the potential for medical cannabis export earnings in New Zealand to be huge with production scaled up; particularly given the country’s reputation for producing high quality foods and natural products.
But why is Medical Kiwi hooking up with Puro when it has its own cultivation facilities?
“We have proven capability for growing excellent product but Puro’s operation is bigger. They’re exactly the partner we need for the European market which we’re opening up to supply from New Zealand.”
Puro has eight hectares under lease at Waihopai for its indoor growing operations, and 25 hectares under lease for outdoor growing at Kēkerengū. Puro also boasts New Zealand’s largest medical cannabis drying facility. Medical Kiwi has a research, cultivation and processing facility in Christchurch. The company has also secured an eight-hectare greenfield site in Brightwater, Nelson.
In the New Zealand medical cannabis space, it’s not uncommon for local companies to collaborate. Another recent example is Helius Therapeutics teaming up with local biotechnology company Greenlab earlier this year on medicinal cannabis genetic development and breeding.
A great country for cultivation, lots of research and development, competitiveness with collaboration, and a (generally) supportive government – the NZ medical cannabis industry has a lot going for it and could achieve great things in the years ahead.