New Zealand grants first medical cannabis business license

New Zealand’s health ministry has given a private company permission to cultivate medical cannabis – representing a first in the country and a milestone for the industry.

Manu Caddie, CEO of Hikurangi Cannabis Co., said the MMJ industry in New Zealand is in store for significant growth, according to the New Zealand Herald.

The first crop from Hikurangi’s 100,00-square-foot greenhouse could be ready by mid-2019.

“The next couple months we’ll be doing some intensive planting,” Caddie told TVNZ 1.

The company expects its product to be used to treat arthritis and pain relief with cannabis topical applications and oils taken orally.

A bill to lay the groundwork for a regulated medical cannabis industry is expected to be approved in the country’s Parliament this fall, giving terminally ill people and those suffering from chronic pain a legal avenue to acquire medical cannabis.

The bill – an amendment to Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 – is scheduled for a second reading in the coming weeks.

New Zealand plans to hold a referendum on cannabis legalization in 2019 or 2020.

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