Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Biolumic receives license to enhance medicinal cannabis

BioLumic, the innovative New Zealand agriculture biotech company, has received approval from the New Zealand Ministry of Health to use its unique ultraviolet (“UV”) technology to stimulate the growth of medicinal cannabis.

BioLumic leads the world with its UV treatment of plants which increases yields and enables plants to more effectively defend themselves against disease or pest attacks. The company has taken on additional research and artificial intelligence staff and is partnering with local and international medicinal cannabis companies while commercialising the technology.

For this project, BioLumic is collaborating with James E. Wagner Cultivation (JWC), a Canadian cannabis company in which Canopy Rivers is an investor, and Helius Therapeutics, an Auckland-based medicinal cannabis company. With the enhanced support, BioLumic will accelerate its treatment development and it plans to be conducting commercial trials in New Zealand and Canada by June 2020.

“Receiving the Ministry of Health licence is an important milestone in the application of our UV light technology for cannabis,” said Jason Wargent, Chief Science Officer, BioLumic. “The cannabis market is fast growing with enormous potential thanks to strong demand from the global health sector. We look forward to helping medicinal cannabis cultivators around the world meet that demand.”

BioLumic’s UV treatments stimulate key areas of plant performance by targeting specific pathways through a completely natural process. The company exposes seeds and seedlings to short duration UV treatments which increases yields significantly, as well as improving tolerance to drought, disease and pest resistance. In other flowering crops, such as strawberries, BioLumic has seen increases in flowering and fruiting by up to 60 per cent. The company expects to see similar increases in cannabis.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Using its expertise in photogenics – the control of plant signalling responses to UV – and the application of artificial intelligence, BioLumic will concentrate on improving the yield of the relatively fast-growing cannabis crop, with a focus on cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), the key bio-active in medicinal cannabis.

“Our technology activates pathways that enable a natural solution to crop protection and yield enhancement. These are both critical drivers of sustainability and profit,” added Wargent.

“As a company committed to delivering a high quality, consistent cannabis product, JWC is excited to be working with BioLumic in a joint research programme, as they pursue advanced methods to promote and maintain plant health,” said Nathan Woodworth, President and CEO, JWC. “We believe their approach, leveraging advanced ultra violet light technology will achieve unprecedented outcomes in the field of cannabis cultivation.”

“The collaboration with BioLumic furthers our commitment to developing the world’s safest and most efficacious cannabis medicines,” added Paul Manning, co-CEO, Helius Therapeutics. “Scientific innovation, above all else, will determine the success of companies like ours in New Zealand’s emerging cannabis sector. We’re looking forward to our ongoing collaboration with BioLumic to enhance our medical cannabis crops.”

Earlier this year, the company, BioLumic received a US$1.5 million investment from Canopy Rivers, a Canada-based venture capital firm specializing in cannabis. This was part of a US$6.7 million Series A capital fund raising which has helped the company grow its state-of-the-art photobiology research & development (“R&D”) centre. BioLumic also has an R&D team at the Bayer CoLaborator in Sacramento, California, and is already running commercial trials of its UV technology in Spain.

BioLumic is collaborating with Auckland-based medicinal cannabis company, Helius Therapeutics.

About BioLumic
BioLumic harnesses the power of ultraviolet (UV) light to empower growers and seed producers around the globe. Clean, green and GM-free, BioLumic's pioneering technology activates natural mechanisms in seeds and seedlings that increase plant growth, vigor, and natural defense mechanisms — resulting in increased yields at harvest. Backed by top Ag investors, BioLumic is headquartered in Palmerston North, New Zealand and is actively growing its presence in North America. To learn more, visit

About James E. Wagner Cultivation Corporation
James E. Wagner Cultivation Corporation’s wholly owned subsidiary is a Licensed Producer under the Cannabis Regulations, formerly the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (“ACMPR”). JWC is a premium cannabis brand, focusing on producing clean, consistent cannabis using an advanced and proprietary aeroponic platform named GrowthSTORM™. JWC began as a collective of patients and growers under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (the precursor to ACMPR). Since its inception, JWC has remained focused on providing the best possible patient experience. JWC is a family-run, family-owned company with deep roots planted in the local community. JWC’s operations are based in Kitchener, Ontario. Learn more at

About Helius Therapeutics
Helius is a New Zealand-owned biotechnology company focused on medicinal cannabis research and development. It is the country’s largest licensed producer and the first medicinal cannabis cultivator to be certified as New Zealand Grown through Buy NZ Made Campaign. The company is building a state-of-the-art facility in Auckland with indoor controlled growing systems, integrated extraction site, an advanced cannabinoid research laboratory and manufacturing operations. As New Zealand’s regulatory environment changes, Helius is poised to set the standard for effective and accessible medicinal cannabis products in New Zealand.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.