Medical Kiwi is getting ready to push ‘go’ in New Zealand as soon as the law allows.
Local company Medical Kiwi has the green light to cultivate medicinal cannabis for research, in a state-of-the-art facility to be built in Brightwater next year. Medical Kiwi was the first South Island-based organisation to be granted the licence to establish a research and development programme. Since then, the company has taken significant steps towards its goal of providing Kiwis with access to safe, affordable, effective medicinal cannabis products as soon as it can.
Board chair Aldo Miccio says the experienced business and science-based board of directors has developed a distinctive strategy that’s clearly on track. “It’s an exciting time. We’ve secured prime land for the research and development facility, investors are lining up, and we’re establishing global networks, including two exclusive international partnerships.
“Our facility and the products we create will have significant benefits for the Nelson Tasman region and for New Zealand.
We estimate that we’ll employ approximately 180-245 staff once operating at full capacity in two-to-three years time,” Aldo says.
“We’ve been approached by a significant number of Nelsonians who are interested in supporting a local business and know, often first-hand, the difference that medicinal cannabis can make,” he says. “It’s about to become a significant industry and investors can see that.”
Nelson shareholder Shane Adamson says there’s a lot to like about what Medical Kiwi is setting out to achieve. “I like the idea of supporting a local company that is starting from scratch. I like the idea of employing and upskilling local people. And I like the health benefits that medical cannabis can provide.”
Medical Kiwi’s exclusive distribution agreement with UK-based Vitality CBD will allow them to import and sell CBD products from early 2020. “This will create immediate accessibility to wellness products while our own locally cultivated products are being developed, and on an ongoing basis,” says Aldo. Vitality CBD’s 0% THC collection, which includes sprays, drops, skin creams, balms and e-liquids, is currently sold across the UK in BOOTS pharmacies, Tesco supermarkets and health stores.
Under a second agreement with UK-based company Liberty Herbal Technologies, Medical Kiwi has exclusive rights to import Liberty’s innovative precision medicinal cannabis inhaler and product for sale from early 2020, as well as securing future sales for Medical Kiwi-grown product from 2021. Liberty’s innovative dry-vaporising device uses ‘heat-not-burn’ technology to avoid the combustion involved in other inhalation methods, meaning no smoke or toxicants. “It’s fantastic technology to bring to New Zealand,” says Aldo. “The uptake agreement also means once we have started production, we will be supplying dried medicinal cannabis to Liberty to be sold internationally for use with their device. That means Nelson-cultivated medical cannabis is set to become another great New Zealand export.”
Medical Kiwi sees the cost of their products being significantly less than current prescription prices. “We’re waiting on the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme to be in place to be able to share more about the prices and sale of products,” says Aldo. “After that, we’re aiming for full steam ahead.”