A bid to turn Marlborough into New Zealand’s largest medical cannabis producer has topped half a million dollars in just a few days.
Puro launched a fundraising campaign on Wednesday, selling shares in the fledgling company for $1each.
Less than four days later 168 people had pledged $610, 293.
Company bosses say the business is on track to become the first company to grow medical cannabis and hemp in Marlborough.
Puro director Sank Macfarlane says the company intended to grow medicinal cannabis in greenhouses in the Waihopai Valley and high-CBD (cannabidiol) hemp in Kekerengu, on the coast between Blenheim and Kaikōura.
“The feedback we’ve had so far has been incredibly positive – there’s a real mood out there that it’s medical cannabis’ time.
“But we’re not there yet – while we’ve raised enough capital to get started, we need more investment if we’re going to achieve what we’ve set out to do,” he says.
Puro is looking to raise $2 to $4 million through crowdfunding and an additional $2 million through wholesale investors.
A minimum of $500 dollars is being asked for by investors.
The unique microclimates are ideal for growing high end cannabis says the company’s cultivation director Tom Forrest.
“Marlborough is ideal for growing cannabis on a large commercial scale.
“We believe the local climate, summer daylight hours, intensity and quality of light spectrum will provide a perfect location for healthy, high potency, flavourful cannabis.
“Combined with the existing farming expertise from the wine sector and local agricultural resources, Marlborough will make as fantastic location for commercial cannabis cultivation,” he says.
Puro secured a licence from the Ministry of Health for medicinal cannabis at the Waihopai Valley site.
The licence would be for research purposes only until the medical cannabis scheme is rubber-stamped.
The Ministry of Health will need Cabinet approval on the regulatory proposals which could see the proposed Medicinal Cannabis Scheme up and running by April next year.
“Cannabis is one of the oldest used medicines in history, says Thomas.
“Written evidence dates back thousands of years showing proven medical efficacy and usage for a vast range of serious ailments, alongside safe recreational use in many different cultures worldwide.
“Legal cannabis provides a valuable commodity for farmers and wide range of economic opportunities.
“Legalisation helps with socioeconomic challenges and is shown to decrease societal harms from hard drug use.”