The Medicinal Cannabis Scheme will help ensure medical cannabis gets to those who need it most.
Medical cannabis company Puro says the government’s medical cannabis scheme will be life-changing for thousands of New Zealanders living in pain.
“Medical cannabis has the potential to make a huge difference to the quality of life for those suffering pain. Today’s announcement means thousands of kiwis will be able to get a prescription for medical cannabis from their local GP,” says Puro managing director Tim Aldridge.
Previously, medical cannabis could only be prescribed if a patient had special Ministry of Health approval.
“If you need medical cannabis to control pain and get some quality of life then you should be able to access it. When the medicinal cannabis scheme comes into force next year it will remove barriers that are currently stopping those who could benefit from medical cannabis from receiving it,” Aldridge says.
“We’ve spoken to hundreds of kiwis up and down New Zealand who believe medical cannabis can give them their quality of live back. The scheme will allow that to happen.”
Currently, Puro has a licence in place to grow medical cannabis for research purposes. When the scheme comes into effect in April 2020 Puro will be able to apply for a licence to commercially cultivate medical cannabis.
“We’re setting out to become one of the first companies in New Zealand to obtain a licence for commercial cultivation, and expect to be growing mid-next year. In preparation we will begin constructing our state of art growing facilities at our Waihopai Valley site in Marlborough,” says Aldridge.
“Our premium product will exceed the minimum standards outlined in the scheme, and will be for export and domestic markets.”
Aldridge says research commissioned by Puro suggests the medical cannabis market will grow rapidly.
“The research shows that if just one percent of New Zealanders eligible for a prescription used medical cannabis the market would be worth $379 million.”
“The fact that we raised $4million in less than four weeks in our PledgeMe campaign is further evidence of how much interest there is in what this growing industry can do,” says Aldridge.