South Island Company to Cultivate Medicinal Cannabis
First South Island Company on Track to Cultivate Medicinal Cannabis
Medical Kiwi to Build State-of-the-art Research and Development Plant in Nelson Tasman
Medical Kiwi is the first South Island-based company to be granted a cultivation licence by the Ministry of Health that will allow the company to establish a cannabis breeding programme for research and development for medicinal cannabis.
Established in December 2018, Medical Kiwi is a pioneering medicinal research and nutraceutical wellbeing company, created to take advantage of the global opportunity that medicinal cannabis represents.
The licence granted this week allows Medical Kiwi to move forward on development plans for a state-of-the-art research and development facility in Brightwater, Tasman.
The 8,000 –10,000 m2 facility is set to be started in late 2020. Its design aligns environmental responsibility with commercial objectives, including technology to ensure agricultural and commercial practices are sustainable.
Medical Kiwi’s Chairperson Aldo Miccio says the company’s board is thrilled to have been granted the cultivation licence.
“In just eight months, our experienced business and science-based Board of Directors has developed a clear strategy that is already on track,” says Miccio. “Prime land for a research and development facility is secured, designs are completed, global networks are established, and investors are lined up,” says Miccio. “The cultivation licence is another important milestone the company has achieved to date. It is an exciting time.”
“Our facility and the resulting products will have significant economic benefits for the Nelson Tasman region and for New Zealand,” he says. Our research will focus on the development of medicinal cannabis products, with a particular focus on the optimum growth conditions."
Miccio estimates Medical Kiwi will employ approximately 180 – 245 full time equivalents.
“The calibre of our staff will ensure that our New Zealand-made products will stand up against the best in the world.”
Company director and biotechnologist Dr Michael Packer says medicinal cannabis represents a long overdue health and wellbeing product that aims to improve health outcomes for not only New Zealanders, but the export market as well.
“Research and development are central to advancing the medicinal cannabis industry,” says Packer. “Medical Kiwi intends to develop safe, high-quality, accessible medicinal and wellbeing products including oil, balms, tinctures, sprays and creams. Our vision is that everyone who could benefit from medicinal cannabis products can access and afford them,” he says.
Having now secured the licence for cultivation, Aldo Miccio says Medical Kiwi Ltd has released an Investment Memorandum for private professional investors, offering shares in the company in two series.
“We raised $1 million in seed funding from both private investors and investors from the smart money sector in the US, who all recognise the value of New Zealand-origin medicinal cannabis products,” says Miccio. “We are now offering a new share issue to raise $7.5 million, providing investors with an opportunity to invest early in Series A. A Series B share offer will follow later this year.”
The full scope of Medical Kiwi’s operations from 2020 onwards will cover research and development and cultivation, extraction, manufacturing, supply and distribution, and marketing of medicinal and nutraceutical cannabis products.
Media background information
In December 2018, the New Zealand Government passed legislation that will allow access to safe, effective and affordable high-quality medicinal and wellbeing cannabis products.
Cannabidiol (CBD) from the marijuana plant has been shown to decrease pain, inflammation and muscle control problems, as well as improve sleep and appetite, reduce nausea and help psychoactive disorders. Importantly, CBD is a cannabinoid that doesn’t make people “high”.
With the benefit of extensive research, it is possible to cultivate hybrid strains to target specific medicinal applications.