New Zealand’s two largest medicinal cannabis companies have signed a supply contract that will provide Kiwis further
access to locally made medicines and pave the way for international export success.
Helius Therapeutics HQ in East Auckland
The five year multi-million-dollar deal between Marlborough-based cultivator Puro and Auckland-based Helius Therapeutics
is New Zealand’s largest to date.
Under the partnership, Puro will supply over 10 tonnes of organic medicinal cannabis to Helius over the next five years,
the equivalent of approximately five shipping containers of dried cannabis flower.
Puro’s outdoor medicinal cannabis crops at Kēkerengū, Marlborough.
Carmen Doran, Chief Executive of Helius Therapeutics, says the partnership is an important milestone for the sunrise
industry in New Zealand.
“It gives Helius a secure local supply chain of premium, organic medicinal cannabis which we process into 100% New
Zealand-grown, manufactured, and branded medicines to support our future products.”
Ms Doran expects New Zealand made cannabis medicines will be popular, with Helius unleashing its exporting strategy this
“Both Puro and Helius are driven to deliver safe, quality and affordable NZ-made medicinal cannabis to Kiwi patients.
While Kiwis are new to cannabis medicines, we expect having a New Zealand made product will give them confidence and
greater choice. At the same time Puro and Helius can work together to deliver into key global export markets.”
Puro’s Managing Director Tim Aldridge says the agreement is a massive win for the wider industry.
Helius Chief Executive Carmen Doran and Puro Managing Director Tim Aldridge.
“It is significant in its size and scale, and in what it signals for the future. It’s the start of a long-term
commercial partnership between Helius and Puro, where we’ll work together to develop the local industry, establishing
pathways for an exciting new export industry for New Zealand,” says Mr Aldridge.
Puro is the largest cannabis grower in New Zealand and its outdoor crops were recently granted organic status from New
Zealand certifier BioGro.
“We’re the only certified organic grower in Australasia so we’ve had huge interest in our product as a result. We expect
to be able to export New Zealand’s first shipment in 2022,” he says.
Helius is already extracting Puro’s medicinal cannabis at its East Auckland facility. However, more will be supplied
after the South Island cultivator’s forthcoming March harvest.
In July 2021, Helius was issued with the local industry’s first GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) Licence to Manufacture
Medicines by the Ministry of Health.
Importantly, Ms Doran says, New Zealand’s GMP is recognised throughout Europe which opens considerable export
possibilities, in countries such as Germany.
“The global medicinal cannabis market is expected to grow to over NZ$60 billion by 2025 so this industry has the
potential to become one of New Zealand’s largest export earners. This supply agreement reflects just how far our
industry has come in a few short years and gives Helius the necessary scale to take premium Kiwi grown and made products
to the world.”
“This agreement will also enable the sharing of best practice and R for future products and provide an opportunity for New Zealand to become a medicinal cannabis research centre of
excellence,” says Ms Doran.
Puro was recently named Cultivator of the Year at the 2021 Australian Cannabis Awards.
“This agreement tops off a great year for the Puro team. We set out three years ago with a belief that New Zealanders
deserve access to premium medicinal cannabis products, grown and made right here in New Zealand. This agreement will see
that vision come to life, as well as taking premium New Zealand grown and made medicinal cannabis into global markets,”
says Tim Aldridge.
Puro and Helius Therapeutics are sponsors of MedCan Summit 2022, which will take place on 10 and 11 February at the
Cordis Hotel in Auckland.About Helius
Helius is focused on medicinal cannabis research, innovation, manufacturing and commercialisation. It is the country’s
largest licenced producer, the first to achieve a GMP Licence for Manufacturing Medicines, and the first medicinal
cannabis cultivator to be certified as New Zealand Grown through the Buy NZ Made Campaign. The company operates a
state-of-the-art, integrated facility in Auckland with indoor controlled growing systems, extraction site, an advanced
cannabinoid research laboratory and manufacturing. Helius is setting the standard for effective and accessible medicinal
cannabis products in New Zealand and beyond.
Puro is a specialist contract grower of premium medicinal cannabis, with its focus on cultivation, seed production and
cannabis genetic breeding and research. Puro is Australasia’s largest grower of medicinal cannabis and one of the
world’s largest certified organic producers.
Puro has two premium growing sites in Marlborough - with high-CBD organic medicinal cannabis growing at its Kēkerengū
site and high-THC medical cannabis growing at Puro’s indoor facility in Waihopai. The company has constructed the
country’s largest medicinal cannabis drying facility in Kēkerengū, as well as a hi-tech research centre and cannabis
breeding facility at Waihopai.
Puro sells its pharmaceutical-grade cannabis to extraction partners and GMP manufacturers in NZ and globally.