How does cannabis give the Māori community of Ruatoria a chance to redefine itself?
After cultivating varieties of hemp since 2016, the first medicinal cultivation license issued to a cannabis company was granted to Hikurangi by the New Zealand Ministry of Health.
In a place where the unemployment rate is high, the community of Ruatoria is pleased to offer the first legal cannabis course in the country.
The company has been authorized to import into New Zealand some of the first strains of high THC cannabis under the country's new biosecurity rules.
16 new varieties of cannabis, all for medical purposes.
Until last month, the Ministry of Primary Industries could not authorize the importation of high-THC strains of cannabis into New Zealand because the rules for importing cannabis seeds applied only to hemp varieties. low in content.
Cultivars include five varieties with high THC content. Another seven are low-grade varieties and four have high levels of CBD.
"We are very pleased to receive this expanded list of varieties for our research and breeding efforts," said Manu Caddy, general manager of the company. That's why it's important to have a great diversity of plant material in our genebank as we move forward in the breeding program, then in research and ultimately in production, our phyto-scientists say that genetics is very important. "
Hikurangi employs 20 people, including a team of scientists with experience in horticultural engineering and agronomy, molecular biology, biochemistry, formulation and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Ministry of Health and MIP officials worked together to update the import regulations to reflect new industry requirements and, once notified of the changes, Hikurangi immediately filed an application to change the import regulations. its license to cover high yield strains.
"Lately, we've seen theThai government approves medical cannabisthe Philippines, Malaysia and South Korea are changing rapidly and other countries are moving in, he said.
It is important for our company to develop long-term relationships with trusted partners in Asia. "
Cannabis comes from the Himalayan regions and indigenous communities still use cannabis for traditional medicine.
Hikurangi has partnered with researchers in Nepal and India to help cannabis growing communities to characterize, protect and market strains of the land races in their region.
"Over time, we hope to add some of this original genetics to crops grown in New Zealand," said Caddy. "And we are expanding our research relationships with universities and business partners across Asia, from Japan, China, and Cambodia to Afghanistan and Eastern Europe to the countries of the silk.
"We are very excited about the global network of indigenous communities we are building with tribal groups growing cannabis in North and South America, Africa and now Asia."
During his trip, Mr. Caddie will meet with Thai, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian and Cambodian companies to discuss trade opportunities for cannabis seeds, medicines and natural health products.