A Central Otago-based company is forging ahead with plans to develop a medicinal cannabis cultivation, research and manufacturing business in the heart of wine country.
Medigrowth New Zealand, based in Cromwell, plans to provide pure and safe New Zealand-grown cannabinoid medicines to a market that recent research shows is “crying out” for alternatives to existing pain medications.
Queenstown businessman Aaron Murphy has been joined by Medigrowth Australia directors Todd McClellan and Adam Guskich in the New Zealand venture.
The Australian company was established in 2017 and brings its invaluable expertise, IP and experience to the local operation, established last year.
Aaron Murphy, who operates award-winning accommodation and property management services in Queenstown, says “the time is right” for Medigrowth’s launch.
“A law change in December 2018 paved the way for a regulated medicinal cannabis industry in New Zealand, with licences to be issued by a new Medical Cannabis Agency, application submissions from April 1,” he says.
“We’ve been working closely with New Zealand GPs on education initiatives, many of whom we know are being asked by increasing numbers of patients to prescribe medicinal cannabis but don’t currently have the training or knowledge to do so.
“Myself, Todd and Adam are all firm believers in the benefits of medicinal cannabis and the opportunity to deliver substantial improvements in patient health and wellbeing.
“We’ve identified a site for a world-class research and development facility on the outskirts of Cromwell which we already know is a fertile and fantastic growing region.”
The facility will offer state-of-the-art technology in extraction and manufacturing, cultivation, laboratory services, genetics supply and University-led research.
“There are many opportunities to partner with like-minded businesses in the region and utilise the skillsets of existing horticultural experts to create more jobs and opportunities for the area,” says Mr Murphy.
“We’re offering a genuine ‘seed to solution’ commitment to New Zealand patients and industry partners, and are working on licencing for the Ministry of Health on licences to cultivate medicinal cannabis and manufacture medicinal cannabis products.”
Current partners include specialist medical device and pharmaceutical consultancy Pharmout, experts in manufacturing practice.
“We’re currently raising capital for the business and are already talking to a number of businesses and individuals keen to invest in Medigrowth New Zealand,” says Mr Murphy.
“We’re also excited to hear from potential partners intending to cultivate medicinal cannabis to meet projected demand and who require extraction and manufacturing services.”