The country’s largest licensed medicinal cannabis company, Helius Therapeutics, has today announced its innovation
partnership with leading ag-tech start-up BioLumic, which has secured significant financial backing from MBIE (Ministry
of Business, Innovation and Employment).
Helius Therapeutics says the $2.5m high-level support, together with its own multi-million-dollar investment into plant
science innovation, will ultimately ensure the strong demand for medicinal cannabis products in New Zealand can be met
into the future.
“This five-year grant from MBIE will support strong ongoing collaboration between BioLumic and Helius, furthering our
own investment. It will build on the partnership we have established with BioLumic in the New Zealand medicinal cannabis
market,” says Paul Manning, Executive Director of Helius Therapeutics.
Palmerston North-based BioLumic are world-leading developers of sustainable ultraviolet (UV) crop yield enhancement.
“BioLumic’s announcement of another major financial injection into their crop intensification platform is very exciting.
In the cannabis industry, yield is king. Harnessing this technology has the potential to create a significant
competitive advantage to Helius, as cannabis crops could yield up to 30% more flower under the proprietary UV light
system,” he says.
The UV technology delivers ultraviolet light to seeds and seedlings to trigger biological mechanisms that increase
cannabis plant growth, vigour and yields. It’s world-first technology that’s clean, green and GM free.
Crop yield is a primary focus in cannabis cultivation. BioLumic aim to use their UV treatments to stimulate
strengthening and hardiness in cannabis plants, which leads to increased growth rates during the crop cycle. Using UV
photomorphogenic responses – where plant growth patterns respond to the light spectrum – aims to deliver increased
biomass of harvestable cannabis flower, and increased consistency of final yields, producing more of the plant’s
valuable cannabinoids and terpenes.
Mr Manning believes New Zealand could become a centre of excellence for cannabis innovation globally. He says BioLumic’s
ongoing success and international recognition as a cutting-edge ag-tech business, supporting the country’s newest
industry, will only advance that aspiration.
“Scientific innovation, above all else, will determine the success of companies like ours in New Zealand’s emerging
cannabis sector. We’re looking forward to our ongoing collaboration with BioLumic to enhance our medical cannabis crops.
Hundreds of thousands of Kiwis are relying on us and this significant investment by MBIE will further our absolute
commitment to world-class delivery,” says Paul Manning.