New Zealand officials have issued the country’s first medical cannabis cultivation license to Hikurangi Cannabis, a company based in Ruatoria on the North Island, according to the Australian Associated Press. The license will allow the company to breed and grow cannabis for medical research by the New Zealand Ministry of Health; previously, only one university in the country was authorized to grow the plant.
The company hopes to turn its smaller research grow site into a larger, high-tech cultivation facility that will provide jobs and economic growth for their rural region.
In January, Hikurangi Cannabis crowdfunded $NZ2 million (about $1.3 million in USD) for its research plans and — according to Manu Caddie, the interim chief executive — the company has already secured a $NZ160 million conditional agreement with U.S.-based Rhizo Science.
Mr. Caddie said that the industry is “certainly going to be significant for our part of our country, in terms of job creation.”
“The rest of the world are cottoning on … places like New Zealand will struggle to compete at the commodity level, but if we can quickly build brand and intellectual property around the clinical trials, then there’s an opportunity to retain the value long-term and to keep that value in the regions.” — Manu Caddie, interim chief for Hikurangi Cannabis, via Australian Associated Press
The company’s license comes during a time while New Zealand considers a bill to legalize and regulate the production and import of medical cannabis products.
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