Cannabis company reaches new heights

Helius Therapeutic chief executive Carmen Doran.

East Tamaki-based Helius Therapeutics has been given the green light to produce New Zealand grown and made medicinal cannabis products.

Carmen Doran, the chief executive, says NZ’s self grown and created cannabis is something Kiwis have been waiting for since the inception of the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme.

“It’s an exciting milestone.”

The Ministry of Health has renewed and expanded Helius’s licence allowing the company to make active ingredients onsite from raw cannabis material.

Currently, patients can visit their GP and obtain prescribed medicinal cannabis for any health condition. Kiwi-manufactured products, using imported active ingredients, have been available for the past six months.

“However, accessing both locally grown and locally made products is even better news for Kiwi patients,” Doran says.

Helius is set to reveal its exporting strategy at the end of the year.

Doran says the expanded licence, together with their supply deal with organic certified medicinal cannabis grower Puro, will give the company the necessary scale to launch premium Kiwi grown and made products overseas.

“With the global medicinal cannabis market expected to grow to over $60 billion by 2025, our nascent industry has the potential to become one of New Zealand’s largest export earners,” she says.

Earlier in the month, the Government announced that Helius would work alongside Puro on research and development and the creation of an organic manufacturing road map.

The five-year workstream is part of a $32 million project to accelerate the growth of the country’s new medicinal cannabis industry and highlights strong government support for it, Helius says.