NZ Awards First-Ever Medical Cannabis Growing License
With the rise to power of a progressive government coalition of Greens and the Labour Party, cannabis policy is beginning to change in New Zealand, Adam Drury writes for the New York-based monthly magazine, High Times. The new governing coalition has vowed to move forward on a medical cannabis bill this year. And already, authorities have licensed the nation’s first medical cannabis cultivation centre.
In the town of Ruatoria, there’s a little-known medical cannabis research company. Hikurangi Cannabis, named after the rural settlement and formerly Hikurangi Hemp, has been operating a small industrial hemp grow to supply researchers with CBD. And now it’s getting a major makeover.
After winning a license to cultivate medical cannabis exclusively for research, Hikurangi began construction on a state-of-the-art greenhouse facility. The facility will sport high-tech grow equipment and testing labs. The construction and staffing could create as many as 120 jobs.
Interim chief executive Manu Caddie described the excitement of receiving the license and beginning work on what’s essentially an entirely new industry in New Zealand. “Being able to execute our business and community goal of building a pharmaceuticals industry at Ruatoria is a significant milestone for us all,” Caddie said.
Caddie hopes to have Ruatoria-grown, Hikurangi medical cannabis products on New Zealand dispensary shelves in a year. But for that to happen, the government will have to make good on its promise to legalise medical cannabis.
Original article by Adam Drury, High Times, August 27, 2018.