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 with high unemployment, the community of Ruatoria is thrilled 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 allow the importation of high THC cannabis strains into New Zealand because the rules for importing cannabis seeds only applied to hemp varieties. low grade.
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 extended list of varieties for our research and breeding efforts,” said Manu Caddie, CEO of the company. This is why it is important to have a great diversity of plant material in our gene bank as we move through the breeding program, then into research and finally into 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 manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.
Officials from the Ministry of Health and MIP worked together to update import regulations to reflect new industry requirements, and when notified of the changes, Hikurangi immediately filed a request to amend the import regulations. its license to cover high yielding strains.
“Lately we have seen theThai government approves medical cannabis, the Philippines, Malaysia and South Korea are rapidly changing direction and other countries are following suit, he said.
It is important for our company to develop long term relationships with trusted partners in Asia. "
Cannabis originates from the Himalayan regions and indigenous communities still use it for traditional medicine.
Hikurangi has formed a partnership with researchers in Nepal and India to help cannabis growing communities characterize, protect and commercialize strains of land races in their region.
“Over time, we hope to add some of this original genetics to plants grown in New Zealand,” said Caddie. “And we are expanding our research relationships with universities and business partners across Asia, from Japan, China and Cambodia to Afghanistan and Eastern Europe, including Route countries. the silk.
“We are very excited about the global network of indigenous communities that 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.