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Medical cannabis company launch $4M crowdfunding campaign

A Marlborough-based medical cannabis company is kicking off a PledgeMe equity crowdfunding campaign today with the goal of raising $4 million.

Puro New Zealand already has a Ministry of Health licence to grow medical cannabis on a site near the Waihopai Spy Base and is awaiting a licence to grow high-CBD hemp in Kekerengu, north of Kaikoura.

Managing director Tim Aldridge says they are poised to become one of the biggest growers of medical cannabis in New Zealand and will sell what they grow to pharmaceutical companies to make into prescription medicines.

“We have purchase agreements with seven Australian and New Zealand pharmaceutical companies and the licence – we are ready to grow. We just need the capital to build our research centre and initial growing facilities – that is what the PledgeMe money will be spent on,” says Tim.

Fellow Puro director Sank Macfarlane, whose family has farmed on the Kekerengu site for 130 years, says medical cannabis could become as valuable to Marlborough as Sauvignon Blanc.

“The region’s long sunshine hours and high UV rating makes it the perfect place to grow medical cannabis. It’s a climate that will help us grow higher yielding plants, with larger concentrations of cannabinoids, at lower cost.”

To help Puro grow premium medical cannabis they have appointed world-renowned cannabis cultivation specialist, and 2018 Churchill Fellow, Tom Forrest as their Cultivation Director.

Tom Forrest says Puro has everything that’s needed to become a premium grower.

“They have a perfect spot, established industry partnerships, with the research and business savvy to be successful. I think they are poised to become a true world leader in cannabis cultivation,” says Tom.

PledgeMe spokesman Tan Huynh says Puro's campaign has potential to attract investor interest.

“We have seen strong investor support for the medical cannabis market, with our last medical cannabis campaign reaching its target in record time.”

“Puro are the first company to launch an equity crowdfunding campaign with their Ministry of Health licence already in place. We’re glad the New Zealand public have been provided with an opportunity to invest in a company committed to their region.”

“PledgeMe is proud supporter of the regions. We're excited by Puro's potential to have a significant positive impact on the Marlborough economy, with an economic report estimating that their operations could create 200 jobs in the region,” says Tan.

That economic report, was commissioned by Puro, from The AgriBusiness Group based at Lincoln University.

The group’s environmental economist Dr Jay Whitehead has calculated that just over 1.3 million New Zealanders could potentially benefit from cannabis-based medicines.
“If just 1% of the New Zealand population used medical cannabis, the market could be worth $379 million each year,” says Jay.

Tim Aldridge says the global medical cannabis market is already big and getting bigger.

“Governments all over the world are increasing access for those with chronic health conditions, and it’s happening in New Zealand too, with the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme being introduced in next month.”

Tim says the crowdfunding campaign provides an opportunity for Kiwis to buy shares in Puro and become part of our journey.

“We’ve had enormous interest from major private investors but wanted to give the New Zealand public – including Mum and Dad investors - the opportunity to reap the rewards of this fast growing industry. That’s why we chose PledgeMe for our first capital raising venture and we are confident of success.”

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