Medicinal cannabis cultivator Puro’s first commercial crop of high CBD and CBG plants has been certified as being ‘in conversion’ to organic by New Zealand’s largest organic certifier BioGro.
The move means Puro is on track to achieve full organic status from BioGro for medicinal cannabis production at its Kekerengu outdoor site in the next 18 months.
Once full organic status is achieved, Puro will be one of the world’s first certified organic medicinal cannabis cultivators.
Managing director Tim Aldridge said the company’s mission is to grow premium medical cannabis that is better for patients and the planet.
He added: “Worldwide, we are already receiving interest in our product and stimulating discussion about the way in which we are establishing our farm.”
Cultivation director Tom Forrest said it may have taken extra work to establish organic growing conditions, but Puro hopes its achievements will encourage other cannabis growers to move their production practices away from a reliance on synthetic chemicals.
“Our focus and intention is to develop an ‘organic playbook’ for cannabis that other growers in New Zealand and globally can adopt and follow,” he said.
“Even if we can encourage one or two other commercial growers to move away from their reliance on synthetic chemicals and sprays, then this would be a wonderful achievement for our team.”
The first commercial crop is currently being harvested, with more than 25 tonnes of wet flower processed at the onsite, purpose-built facility.
Puro’s cultivation team hopes the same conditions that produce the Marlborough region’s world-class wine will also produce some novel terpene and cannabinoid profiles. Product testing is already underway.
Puro is also working with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise on a pathway for exporting bulk medicinal cannabis and seeking international partnerships for its products.
Last week, the company successfully closed a NZ$2 million retail investment campaign. The funds will be used to complete development of its breeding facility in Waihopai, near Blenheim, which will sit beside its existing indoor research facility at the site and be used for seed production.
It is seeking further wholesale investment of $6 million to fund the development of its commercial glasshouses.