New Zealand firm Helius Therapeutics has been given approval to make active ingredients from raw materials onsite as the medicinal cannabis industry across the Tasman continues to develop.

The approval to expand its operations was ratified by the Ministry of Health.

Carmen Doran: export strategy set to be unveiled at the end of the year

“The industry’s first licence renewal and expansion will enable Helius to produce New Zealand-grown and made medicinal cannabis products, something Kiwi patients have been waiting for since the inception of the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme,” chief executive Carmen Doran said. “It’s an exciting milestone.”

Helius was New Zealand’s first medicinal cannabis business to achieve a GMP licence for manufacturing medicines in July 2021, covering the first products to market.

The licence expansion follows the signing of a multimillion-dollar supply deal in January with Puro that will see more than 10 tonnes of organic dried flower supplied to Helius over the next five years.

The company will unveil its export strategy at the end of the year.

The expanded GMP licence, together with the supply deal with Puro, will give the company the necessary scale to launch Kiwi-grown and made products overseas, Doran said.

“New Zealand’s GMP certificate is recognised throughout Europe and many other countries around the world, opening up considerable export possibilities,” she added.

“With the global medicinal cannabis market expected to grow to over NZ$60 billion by 2025, our nascent industry has the potential to become one of New Zealand’s largest export earners.”

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...