According to the official press release dated December 13, 2019, Zeacann Ltd and AUT (the Auckland University of Technology) have obtained licenses from the Ministry of Health for the research, as well as the development of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Thanks to the license, the two organizations will be able to grow high-CBD and high-THC cannabis.
As per the press release, Zeacann and AUT will now be able to grow cannabis strains, import seeds, formulate products, research methods for extracting active ingredients, and have products verified independently. It is important to note that AUT and Zeacann had entered into a research partnership back in August last year.
The CEO of Zeacann, Chris Fowlie, shared that with their R&D collaboration with AUT, they aim to make sure that patients have access to affordable, safe, and tested products. They also intend to support the broadening of the medicinal cannabis sector based in New Zealand.
Fowlie also elaborated on how the licenses would help them get several research projects started. These projects include developing the best practices and standards for the production of cannabinoid, trialing the best genetic strains for growing conditions in New Zealand, anecdotal claim verification, carrying out research on promising formulations, extraction as well as dose delivery.
The press release also noted that the Drug Delivery Research Group of AUT would do R&D on lab techniques for refinement, analysis, and extraction so that newer formulations and delivery methods could be produced with improved safety profiles and bioavailability.
Dr. Ali Seyfoddin, who runs the Group, stated that they would be sharing the knowledge and discoveries by publishing the licensing IP and standards. He was also quoted as saying,
Together, we want to grow the local industry and build a reputation as a center of excellence for medicinal cannabis science.
The regulations for the medicinal cannabis program in New Zealand would come into effect from December 19, 2019. The scheme will let New Zealand doctors prescribe medicines based on cannabis and cannabinoid. However, the complete scheme is expected to be operational in the second half of 2020.