Stuff NZ reports…..Ruatoria-based Hikurangi Cannabis Company has been permitted to import some of the first strains of high-THC strains of cannabis into New Zealand under changed biosecurity rules.

The commercial cannabis company had its license amended by the Health Ministry this week so it could cultivate 16 new varieties of cannabis, all for medicinal purposes.

The cultivars include five varieties with high levels of THC, the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis.

Another seven are low THC varieties, and four have high levels of CBD – the non-psychoactive compound used for treating epilepsy, among other conditions.

Caddie said permitting imports of high THC strains for research was not a precursor to a recreational cannabis industry, which was not the highest value market for his firm anyway.

“It’s certainly not something we’re focussed on, we don’t see a long-term opportunity in recreational cannabis in New Zealand. We won’t be able to compete on scale with some of the other parts of the world which are already advanced and already cheaper in labour.”

“Given the investment the Government’s been making in getting people to give up smoking, we think it would be unlikely people would be able to smoke the flower even if it is legalised.”

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