South-Island based medicinal cannabis company Medical Kiwi has signed an exclusive distribution deal with the United Kingdom CBD product distributor Vitality CBD.
Established in December 2018, Medical Kiwi is a medicinal research and nutraceutical company, created to take advantage of the global opportunity that medicinal cannabis represents. They are the only New Zealand company to sign a distribution agreement with Vitality CDB Ltd.
Medical Kiwi Board Chair Aldo Miccio says the deal is an exciting step towards the company's plans to provide New Zealanders with affordable access to safe, high-quality medicinal and nutraceutical cannabis products.
"Medical Kiwi will sell Vitality CBD's full range of CBD products, including sprays, drops, skin cream, balms, and e-liquids. The range is currently sold across the UK including in Boots stores, Tesco supermarkets, pharmacies, and health stores."
The CBD products contain cannabidiol derived from cannabis, and are 0% THC, meaning they have no psychoactive properties.
"This agreement is part of Medical Kiwi's strategy to import and distribute pre-branded medicinal and nutraceutical products, to create accessibility via imported products until our own Medical Kiwi products are available," says Miccio.
Last month the company announced its plans for the build of a state-of-the-art research and development facility in Brightwater, Tasman. They have been granted a license by the Ministry of Health to cultivate medicinal cannabis, enabling the company to establish a cannabis breeding program for research.
The build of the 8,000 –10,000 m2 facility is set to start in late 2020. Its design aligns environmental responsibility with commercial objectives, including technology to ensure agricultural and commercial practices are sustainable.
Miccio says the facility and resulting products will have significant economic benefits for the Nelson Tasman region and for New Zealand. "Our research will focus on the development of medicinal cannabis products, with a particular focus on the optimum growth conditions," he says.
Until the plant is operational, Medical Kiwi will advance their vision of making medicinal cannabis products available to New Zealanders by selling the imported product as soon as the law allows."Our business model is for Medical Kiwi's New Zealand-made and imported products to cost significantly less than current prescription prices," says Miccio. "Once the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme is in place, we will be able to share a lot more about what that means."
Miccio says Patrick Gower's documentary On Weed, debuting on TV3 on 11 September, demonstrated some of the major and important benefits of medicinal cannabis.
"The documentary rightly pointed out that the medicinal cannabis industry in New Zealand is ready and waiting. Medical Kiwi is poised to make our vision – that everyone who could benefit from medicinal cannabis can safely access effective, high-quality, affordable products – into reality."
Last month, Medical Kiwi Ltd released an Investment Memorandum for private professional investors, offering shares in the company in two series.
"We raised $1 million in seed funding from both private investors and investors from the smart money sector in the US, who all recognize the value of New Zealand-origin medicinal cannabis products," says Miccio. "We are now offering a new share issue to raise $7.5 million, providing investors with an opportunity to invest early in Series A. A Series B share offer will follow later this year."
The full scope of Medical Kiwi's operations from 2020 onwards will cover research and development and cultivation, extraction, manufacturing, supply and distribution, and marketing of medicinal and nutraceutical cannabis products.