Auckland-based cannabis distribution company NUBU Pharmaceuticals has partnered with New Zealand grower Kalyx Biosciences to launch the first domestically-grown medical cannabis products available to patients in the country.
NUBU, New Zealand’s largest medicinal cannabis distributor, announced Tuesday that Kalyx has successfully verified dried cannabis flower with the nation’s Medicinal Cannabis Agency, allowing for legal patient access to locally cultivated medical cannabis for the first time.
Due to New Zealand’s strict regulations around medical cannabis, the availability of locally grown products is a major step forward for the country’s nascent industry, NUBU co-founder and CEO Mark Dye said.
Previously, the country did not allow any New Zealand-grown flower to be consumed via a vaporizer.
Demand for medical cannabis is rising steadily in New Zealand with prescriptions expected to double to 120,000 in the next year.
“I couldn’t be happier to celebrate this milestone,” Dye said. “We have the most stringent regulations in the world for products deemed safe for inhalation, so bringing local flower to market is no small feat.”
The move will provide patients with more affordable and higher-quality products.
On Wednesday the country’s Medicinal Cannabis Agency updated the list of new medicinal cannabis products that have been verified as meeting the minimum quality standard which included NUBU’s products.
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Jesse O’Steen, Kalyx’s co-founder and CEO, said the cannabis cultivation company is excited and proud to reach this milestone with NUBU.
“The cannabis business is incredibly complex and challenging, so access to the market is a key component,” O’Steen said. “We couldn’t be happier to support local patients with homegrown products.”
Pearl Schomburg, leader of the patient advocacy group Auckland Patients Group, welcomed the news, saying increased access to locally grown medical cannabis will provide patients with more treatment options tailored to their needs.
NUBU and Kalyx’s first product, called Kikuyu Peak, has 25.5 per cent THC and 1 per cent or less CBD. It is available to patients with a prescription from a New Zealand doctor. More New Zealand-grown products are in the pipeline, Dye said, including dried cannabis flower from cultivator OGG Holdings.
“The future of New Zealand cannabis will be built on partnerships between local independent growers cultivating premium cannabis alongside partners like us at NUBU, leveraging our expertise to bring products to market,” Dye said.
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