Govt helps fast-track organic medicinal cannabis industry

  • Government supports industry to follow in the footsteps of $2bn wine industry 
  • Economic boost for regional economies amid export boom
  • Future jobs in research and development, cultivation, business development, construction and facilities management

The Government has partnered with the country’s largest and only organic certified medicinal cannabis grower to accelerate the growth of the industry – support which could see it become as successful as our wine industry in the near future.

“Now is the perfect time to grow this high-value industry, as international demand for medicinal cannabis takes off while New Zealand is amid an export boom,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said.

“The $32.2 million joint project will further support the country’s economic recovery from COVID-19, providing jobs and growth in our regional economies.

“The project will run from 2022 to 2027, with the Government contributing $13 million through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund, to help Marlborough-based company Puro Ltd fast-track the establishment of an organic medical cannabis industry in New Zealand.

“Matatihi Economic Research has calculated that the project’s potential economic benefit to New Zealand could be up to $236 million by 2032.

Founded in 2018, Puro harvested its first crop of medical cannabis last year. The company is New Zealand’s largest medical cannabis grower, with the only organic certification in Australasia.

“This project will bring significant scale to this new industry, providing domestically sourced medicinal cannabis for Kiwi patients in pain and exciting export opportunities in a global growth market, providing further diversification of land use and export opportunities.

“Puro will develop unique cultivars and seed stock, as well as a production handbook that will be available to the wider industry. This will fast-track the industry’s establishment in New Zealand and create a comprehensive blueprint that other Kiwi companies can use to follow in Puro’s footsteps.

“We expect this funding to create significant job opportunities in rural communities, boosting local economies in Marlborough and Kāikoura over the five years. There will be professional jobs in research and development, cultivation, business development, construction and facilities management, which could attract more people to the regions.

“We’re proud to support the medicinal cannabis industry as it sets out to follow in the footsteps of our wine industry which, from first planting on commercial scale in the 1970s, has now reached over $2 billion in export value,” Damien O’Connor said.

The global medical cannabis market is valued at $28 billion and is growing at 27 per cent annually.