The plan for a New Zealand cannabis company to export medical marijuana to US as part of a new business deal is underway. The arrangement could provide additional products for the US medical marijuana market. At the same time, it could provide a much-needed economic boost to the Ruatoria region of New Zealand.
New Zealand Green
The deal is part of a new relationship between New Zealand-based Hikurangi Cannabis Company and Seattle-based Rhizo Sciences.
The arrangement has not been finalized, as there are still legal hurdles that must be cleared. But if the deal goes through, Hikurangi will produce 3,000 kilograms of medical marijuana for Rhizo Sciences.
The deal is scheduled to go into effect next year. Beyond next year’s initial shipment, both companies hope to see the partnership grow. In fact, the goal is to bump production up to 12,000 kilograms by 2021.
Sources estimate that the exchange between the companies would be worth around $160 million in New Zealand. That’s roughly $119 million in U.S. currency. The arrangement could be a boon to the East Coast region of New Zealand.
“We are very excited about the impact of this new industry for our communities on the Coast and for New Zealand as a whole,” said Hikurangi Cannabis Managing Director Manu Caddie.
More specifically, Caddie said that the region where his company operates faces a number of economic challenges. In particular, the area has some of New Zealand’s highest unemployment rates. Making it even worse, the region has few high-value products on which it can rely.
Given all this, Caddie thinks that the new partnership between Hikurangi Cannabis and Rhizo Sciences could provide the area with some much-needed economic activity.
The deal wouldn’t just benefit Hikurangi and the East Coast of New Zealand. It could also provide an important source of high-grade cannabis for medical marijuana patients in the U.S. In particular, Rhizo Sciences said that maintaining high-quality standards is a top priority in the company’s arrangement with Hikurangi.
“We’ll be working closely with regulators to ensure Hikurangi can meet and exceed international benchmarks for quality, safety, and security,” said Rhizo Sciences co-founder and Vice President Dallas McMillan. “New Zealand has a major opportunity to develop the high CBD hemp industry and become a leading world producer.”
Sources report that Hikurangi Cannabis would focus on producing only medical cannabis products. That would include growing strains and making products that are high in CBD and low in THC.
Cannabis is illegal in New Zealand, but the country maintains a relatively strong cannabis culture. In fact, a report on which countries smoke the most weed ranked New Zealand seventh. The report ranked countries in order of the percentage of the general population that consumes weed. More specifically, the report said that 11 percent of New Zealand’s population smokes cannabis. On a related note, the country is cracking down on synthetic cannabis.
The US ranked second on that list, with 16.2 percent of its population consuming cannabis. Iceland came in at number one. According to the report, 18.3 percent of Iceland’s population consumes marijuana.
If the deal between Hikurangi and Rhizo Sciences goes through, medical marijuana patients in the US may be smoking New Zealand green as early as 2019.