A Waikato company has been given a new licence to import and research dried cannabis flower.
This latest milestone for Cannasouth follows the announcement it intends to list its shares on the NZX- the first medicinal cannabis company in the country to do so.
Mark Lucas told Mike Hosking the new licence will speed up research programmes to refine the cannabinoid.
"THC and CBD are well known compounds and behind them are many other active compounds, which researchers are only just beginning to understand.
"It all comes back to the quality of the research programmes. This is going to be developing over time, you can look around the world and see what's happening and the real demand for these medicines. "
Cannasouth said last October it planned to list its shares on the NZX through an initial public offering (IPO) in the second quarter.
Chief executive Mark Lucas said having all three licences is a significant step forward for Cannasouth's medicinal cannabis research and would enable the company to speed up its research programmes ahead of proposed legislative changes that will allow the manufacture and sale of medicinal cannabis in New Zealand.
"By importing a wide variety of cultivars, along with the dried flower from the Netherlands, we can further investigate the potential of both high CBD and THC varieties."
The Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill passed its third reading in December last year, laying the foundations of a medical cannabis industry.
In addition to giving the terminally ill a defence against the use of illicit cannabis products, the bill requires the Government to write a regulatory framework for the medicinal cannabis industry within a year - suggesting it could take until 2020 for a clearer indication of the shape the local industry will take.