New Zealand medicinal cannabis grower Puro has been granted a licence to plant 10 hectares of medical cannabis – the equivalent of 10 rugby fields – at its Kēkerengū site on the Kaikoura Coast.

Director Tim Aldridge said Puro will plant more than 80,000 seeds and seedlings on the site in the coming weeks.

The seeds have been sourced from Australia, Europe and North America, and consist of six cultivars handpicked for their high levels of CBD and CBG, and low levels of THC.

Aldridge added: “Over the last month we’ve been germinating seeds in tunnel houses, and our new outdoor cultivation licence means we are now able to start planting them at Kēkerengū.”

He said planting so many seedlings will be a significant undertaking, and has required Puro to import specialised equipment.

“We are the only company in New Zealand to have a specialised cannabis transplanter and bedformers. Our bedformers make our soil ready for planting, while our specialised cannabis transplanter digs holes, plants seedlings and waters them in one continuous motion.”

Aldridge said he expects the crop, which is being grown under organic protocols, to be some of the world’s best.

“We will be growing a truly premium product at a location hand-picked for its high sunshine hours and intense UV ratings.

“In March we will begin hand-picking the top flower which we will supply to pharmaceutical buyers in New Zealand and around the world.”

Puro has nine letters of intent or heads of agreements with potential buyers, and is working with NZTE to secure additional buyers in Europe.

As well as receiving their outdoor cultivation licence, Puro also received a licence to grow CBD and THC medical cannabis varieties at their indoor research facility at Waihopai.

“Our research facility was completed in August, and the indoor cultivation licence means we can get going on our research. Our team will investigate ideal growing conditions and work to develop and register unique cultivars that are highly sought after by buyers,” said Aldridge.

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