6 Nov 2020

Puro given licence to grow 10 hectares of medicinal cannabis

4:33 pm on 6 November 2020

Medical cannabis grower Puro has been granted a licence to plant 10 hectares of the crop.

Cannabis plants

Photo: Unsplash / Matteo Paganelli

Managing director of the Marlborough firm, Tim Aldridge, said it would plant more than 80,000 seeds and seedlings at Kēkerengū on the Kaikōura Coast.

Aldridge said the licence was in time to plant in spring.

He said it would be a significant undertaking, and had required Puro to import specialised equipment.

"We are the only company in New Zealand to have a specialised cannabis transplanter and bedformers.

"Our bedformers make our soil ready for planting, while our specialised cannabis transplanter digs holes, plants seedlings and waters them in one continuous motion."

The company's seeds were sourced from Australia, Europe and North America, and consisted of six cultivars, chosen for their high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG), and low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis.

Aldridge said over the last month they had been germinating seeds in tunnel houses, and the new licence meant they were now able to start planting them at Kēkerengū.

He said the location was selected for its high sunshine hours and intense UV ratings.

"In March we will begin hand-picking the top flower which we will supply to pharmaceutical buyers in New Zealand and around the world."

Aldridge said Puro had nine letters of intent, or heads of agreement with potential buyers, and was working with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to secure additional buyers in Europe.

Puro has also received a licence to grow CBD and THC medical cannabis varieties at their indoor research facility at Waihopai in Marlborough.

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