New Zealand’s two largest medicinal cannabis companies have signed a multi-million-dollar deal they say will strengthen the development and future of the industry.
The supply contract between Marlborough-based cultivator Puro and East Tamaki-based Helius is believed to be New Zealand’s biggest to date.
Puro will supply more than 10 tonnes of organic medicinal cannabis to Helius over a period of five years. The partnership and subsequent contract will provide Kiwis further access to locally-made medicine.
Carmen Doran, chief executive of Helius, says the partnership is an important milestone for the industry in New Zealand.
“It gives Helius a secure local supply chain of premium, organic medicinal cannabis which we process into 100 per cent New Zealand-grown, manufactured and branded medicines to support our future products,” Doran says.
“I expect NZ-made cannabis medicines will be popular.”
Helius is revealing its exporting strategy this year. “While Kiwis are new to cannabis medicines, we expect having a New Zealand-made product will give them confidence and greater choice,” Doran says.
“At the same time Puro and Helius can work together to deliver into key global export markets.”
Puro’s managing director Tim Aldridge says the partnership between the two companies, working together to develop the local industry, will establish pathways for an “exciting new export industry” in NZ.
Puro is the largest cannabis grower in NZ.
“We’re the only certified organic grower in Australasia so we’ve had huge interest in our product as a result. We expect to be able to export New Zealand’s first shipment in 2022,” he says.
The global medicinal cannabis market, Doran says, is expected to grow to more than $60 billion by 2025.
“The industry has the potential to become one of NZ’s largest export earners,” she says.
“This agreement will also enable the sharing of the best practice and R&D for future products and provide an opportunity for NZ to become a medicinal cannabis research centre of excellence.”