Puro and Medical Kiwi in major NZ medicinal cannabis export programme
New Zealand exports of medicinal cannabis are set to leap ahead in 2023 as Puro, the country’s largest grower, teams up with Medical Kiwi to export medical cannabis products to Europe.
Puro and Medical Kiwi – both established companies operating at the forefront of New Zealand’s emerging medicinal cannabis sector – have signed a substantial production and supply contract.
This will see Puro provide Medical Kiwi with five tonnes of freshly-harvested cannabis flower in the contract’s first year, with the volume of supply increasing in subsequent years.
Medical Kiwi will use its state-of-the-art drying plant in Christchurch for initial processing of the flower to ensure it meets European customer requirements. Sales to a number of customers are scheduled to commence in the first half of 2023.
Puro Executive Chair Tim Aldridge says there is a perfect fit between Puro’s cultivation and plant genetics expertise and Medical Kiwi’s processing capacity and well-developed customer relationships in the European cannabis market.
“There’s huge demand globally for high-quality pharmaceutical cannabis and our partnership with Medical Kiwi will help put New Zealand-grown medical cannabis on the world map,” Mr Aldridge says.
The medicinal cannabis market in Europe is rapidly expanding with a recent study estimating that total annual sales will be equivalent to approximately NZ$5.5 billion by 2025.
Medical Kiwi Chair Aldo Miccio says his company and Puro share a vision of New Zealand becoming one of the world’s best suppliers of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis.
“The value in export earnings for this country will be huge if we can scale up production using the best available cultivars and cultivation methods, and build solid long-term relationships with the biggest players in Europe,” Mr Miccio says.
“From our market development work over the past three years we can see very strong demand in Europe for high-grade cannabis flower. This, combined with New Zealand’s reputation for producing high-quality foods and natural products, provides a great platform for us and other Kiwi companies to grow a valuable export-oriented industry.”
Mr Miccio says Medical Kiwi’s planned next steps include securing international GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certification during 2023, with export sales of dried cannabis flower proceeding in the interim.
Medical Kiwi Procurement and Relationships Manager Jason Whitelaw says the company continues to scale up its indoor cultivation in Christchurch and will be supplying customers from there also in 2023 and beyond. “We have proven capability for growing excellent product but Puro’s operation is bigger. They’re exactly the partner we need for the European market which we’re opening up to supply from New Zealand.”
Puro’s Tim Aldridge says the partnership with Medical Kiwi is fantastic news for the industry. “Since setting out in 2018, we’ve been focused on growing the very best medicinal cannabis for our partners and doing this organically,” Mr Aldridge says. “The stage is set to take New Zealand cannabis to the world, and we’re excited about joining forces with Medical Kiwi to help make this happen.”
For further comment:
Puro contact: Medical Kiwi contact:
Tim Aldridge, 027 787 6699 Aldo Miccio, Mobile 0061 421 497 138