Ruatoria company makes history

Cannabis seed importation a first for New Zealand.

Cannabis seed importation a first for New Zealand.

Hikurangi cannabis.

For the first time in New Zealand history a shipment of cannabis seeds on the way to Ruatoria has sailed through customs with the official stamp of approval.

Ruatoria-based Hikurangi Cannabis Company has imported the seeds as the basis of a long-term breeding programme to develop optimal varieties for patients with specific health conditions in New Zealand.

“The Ministry of Health has confirmed this is the first lawful importation of high THC cannabis seeds cleared for supply direct to a New Zealand company,” said Dr Alvaro Vidiella, the technical director for Hikurangi Cannabis Company.

The seeds from nine different high THC (tentrahydrocannabinol) and high CBD (cannabidoil) varieties will be used to select lines for clinical research and the establishment of New Zealand’s first legal cannabis genetics breeding programme.

“The Government’s provision in legislation to enable access to local plant genetics presents Hikurangi with a great opportunity to strengthen our relationship with New Zealand breeders to identify, assess and protect local strains,” Dr Vidiella said.

“This ultimately will enable Hikurangi to offer the best possible selected varieties to New Zealand farmers interested in getting a licence and working with us.”

HCC chief executive Manu Caddie said the move would allow the company to further its medicinal cannabis breeding programme.

“New Zealand has an excellent track record in horticultural breeding programmes such as the success of new cultivars seen in the kiwifruit and apple industries that deliver superior quality and command a market premium. We intend to follow a similar pathway with our cannabis breeding programme.”

Dr Vidiella said it had been a challenging process to identify a seed supplier with adequate genetics that could meet the strict biosecurity requirements of the Ministry for Primary Industries.

The company is already negotiating supply agreements with buyers in Europe, Asia and North America, and has plans to supply New Zealand pharmacies and export a range of medicinal cannabis products once commercial licences are issued in early 2020.

For the first time in New Zealand history a shipment of cannabis seeds on the way to Ruatoria has sailed through customs with the official stamp of approval.

Ruatoria-based Hikurangi Cannabis Company has imported the seeds as the basis of a long-term breeding programme to develop optimal varieties for patients with specific health conditions in New Zealand.

“The Ministry of Health has confirmed this is the first lawful importation of high THC cannabis seeds cleared for supply direct to a New Zealand company,” said Dr Alvaro Vidiella, the technical director for Hikurangi Cannabis Company.

The seeds from nine different high THC (tentrahydrocannabinol) and high CBD (cannabidoil) varieties will be used to select lines for clinical research and the establishment of New Zealand’s first legal cannabis genetics breeding programme.

“The Government’s provision in legislation to enable access to local plant genetics presents Hikurangi with a great opportunity to strengthen our relationship with New Zealand breeders to identify, assess and protect local strains,” Dr Vidiella said.

“This ultimately will enable Hikurangi to offer the best possible selected varieties to New Zealand farmers interested in getting a licence and working with us.”

HCC chief executive Manu Caddie said the move would allow the company to further its medicinal cannabis breeding programme.

“New Zealand has an excellent track record in horticultural breeding programmes such as the success of new cultivars seen in the kiwifruit and apple industries that deliver superior quality and command a market premium. We intend to follow a similar pathway with our cannabis breeding programme.”

Dr Vidiella said it had been a challenging process to identify a seed supplier with adequate genetics that could meet the strict biosecurity requirements of the Ministry for Primary Industries.

The company is already negotiating supply agreements with buyers in Europe, Asia and North America, and has plans to supply New Zealand pharmacies and export a range of medicinal cannabis products once commercial licences are issued in early 2020.

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John Fricker - 12 days ago
A dark cloud has descended on these fair isles. Mr Caddie will be laughing up his sleeve as he counts the fortune he is about to make on the back of human misery.
Don't these creeps make a person laugh? They no longer grow this drug. Oh, no! Far too passe. It will be the subject of a "breeding programme" now. I suppose it has to be bred to super-strength so the creeps can charge the poor old addicts more and grind them further into the dust. Shame on them all.

Footnote from Ed: John, have you missed the fact that this cannabis is being grown for medicinal purposes?

Manu Caddie - 11 days ago
Come and visit the people you call 'creeps' sometime John, it might help you be a little less cynical and grumpy. Also, just remember the human history of these isles has mostly been darker - and that's a good thing.

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