Hikurangi Hemp is New Zealand’s leading medical cannabis company.
New Zealand is an ideal climate for growing medical cannabis. Often called the “Jamacia of the South Pacific” the small island is renowned for it’s cannabis and clean, green agricultural produce.
Hikurangi Hemp initially developed industrial hemp crops and plans to expand to high CBD hemp and medical cannabis in 2018/19.
CBD is not a scheduled drug in New Zealand, making it an ideal regulated market to innovate pharmaceutical grade medical cannabis products.
By parntering with Rhizo Sciences to develop a large scale export facility Hikurangi Hemp will benefit from economies of scale and international expertise to rapidly develop GMP grade pharmaceutical products at an affordable price for the domestic and export markets.
The project will deliver much needed employment in high value agriculture to the region, as well as positioning New Zealand as a strong player in the international cannabis industry.
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Why Hikurangi Hemp?
First Mover Advantage
The company is ready to roll with all of the steps required to deliver premium proven products to local and overseas consumers.
Independent clinical trial protocols have been prepared for Hikurangi Hemp by world renown health researchers based in New Zealand. A two stage pilot clinical trial will prove safe dosage and tolerance levels. Subsequent clinical trials will investigate the effectiveness of the product to treat one or more specific conditions with results published as early as December 2018. MedSafe, the government medicines regulator is working with Hikurangi Hemp to ensure the production process meets their requirements and a pharmaceutical consultant is assisting with the medicines registration process.
Hikurangi Hemp has a secure supply of high quality raw material. Producing a successful first crop last season, the company has 5ha for cultivation in the current season including 15 local experts growing and harvesting over 5,000 plants for the company and a full breeding programme in partnership with a Crown Research Institute due to start in early 2018.
Hikurangi Hemp has had contact with more than 1,000 doctors at New Zealand’s two largest GP conferences and supported a survey of nearly 300 GPs who expressed interest in the availability of medical cannabis products in New Zealand. CBD products will initially be distributed solely to doctors and pharmacists as prescription only medicines.
We have processing facilities in place to take the active ingredients from the raw plant, a licensed medicines manufacturer in New Zealand to produce the medicine and a distributor with 260 pharmacies and 50 hospital customers has agreed to distribute the products.
Certified organic land is currently growing product and the company is working with other growers to achieve organic certification. This is easier to do in Ruatoria than other parts of New Zealand because there has been very little agrochemical inputs on land in the area.
New Zealand made products command a premium in overseas markets and Hikurangi Hemp will ensure the highest environmental and ethical standards are maintained in all activities of the company.
Being located on the East Coast of New Zealand means the company has the capability and capacity to produce outdoor grown product in the off-season from Northern Hemisphere producers. This is most important for fresh-grown, whole flower product, but may also be significant in extracted products with a limited shelf-life.
The East Coast is well-known as a premium location for cannabis cultivation and offers ideal climate conditions for growing the plant.
Low land costs compared to other parts of New Zealand keep overheads low and will keep Hikurangi Hemp production competitive as other players come into the domestic market. Likewise comparatively low living costs in the region mean that the families of local growers can earn sufficient income to look after themselves provided the work is constant.
The high local skill-base in growing cannabis plants for optimal cannabinoid profile ensures there are expert growers cultivating the plants from day one.
Because of the limited alternative land use options in the district, landowners are offering their land for hemp cropping and growers have the ability to scale production quickly as demand increases.
Social, Cultural & Environmental Benefits
This unique opportunity has huge transformational potential by backing a whole a whole community to lead a new, high value, export industry. Ruatoria and the Waiapu Valley have an average household income almost half the national average, around one third of the population receives a government benefit. Meanwhile the vast majority of tribal members live away from their traditional lands working in other parts of New Zealand and Australia but at least a quarter of the 70,000 iwi members say they would move back to the area if a decent job was available.
Well known for growing the illicit varieties of cannabis, in the Ruatoria and Waiapu Valley there has been only positive support from locals to the opportunities of growing the legal variety if it means they can have legitimate work that earns a steady income using their land and skills.
It is expected that by Year 5 at least 20 local families will be able to grow on small areas of Māori land to supply product that brings an income of at least $50,000 to the household. Another 15-20 positions are expected to be working for Hikurangi Hemp in the processing, manufacturing, research, sales, distribution and other areas of the business.