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East Coast medical cannabis producers welcome Govt bill

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

An East Coast company developing medical cannabis products is excited about new legislation announced by the Government.

Hikurangi Hemp managing director Manu Caddie said it is a decision the company has been waiting for which will see domestic production enabled through a new government scheme established to oversee domestic supply.

"This is great news for the medical cannabis patients in New Zealand who will have access to much more affordable products that are verified as safe and prescribed by doctors."

Mr Caddie said his company had plants growing and products under development for medical research purposes and the announcement today will allow cannabinoids extracted from New Zealand plants to made into approved medicines for sale here and overseas.

"This decision is great timing for us just before we go to investors in February to raise money to expand our operation and fund the facilities required by MedSafe for the plant processing. We will be able to provide a safe, affordable product next year. The news is perfect timing for us with expected completion at the end of next year for our first clinical trials proving the safety of our product. Which is more than many of the imported products can claim."

Hikurangi Enterprises was also pleased to see CBD or cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic chemical with a wide range of health benefits, will no longer be considered a controlled drug.

"This has massive implications for paitients and the industry and goes much farther than what we were expecting in today’s announcement."

Mr Caddie said company lawyers had prepared a 33 page legal opinion for the Ministry of Health arguing for the government to no longer consider cannabidiol a controlled drug to allow domestic production as a way to ensure high quality and affordable products.

"It is pleasing to see Labour and New Zealand First have prioritised cannabis medicine production, this presents a huge opportunity for provincial New Zealand in terms of utilising local skills and local land in a sustainable industry experiencing massive global growth."

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