Puro: Rising further inexperienced hashish within the South Pacific

The Marlborough region of New Zealand’s South Island is home to a world famous Sauvignon Blanc industry. The unique topography creates fertile land, complemented by a cool sea breeze from the rolling tides of the South Pacific. A new industry is growing in the vineyards – medicinal cannabis.

Puro was founded in 2018 and is the largest licensed medical cannabis breeder in the country. Within the first two years of commercial operation, Puro has set up two growing areas in Marlborough and cultivates medicinal cannabis at both locations – even if there are delays and difficulties due to the pandemic.

What really sets Puro apart from other commercial growers at home and abroad is the fact that they grow medicinal cannabis using organic protocols and are working towards becoming organic certified.

“Once we have achieved organic accreditation, we expect Puro to be the largest organic producer in Australasia and one of the few organic organic cannabis growers in the world,” said Managing Director Tim Aldridge. “This will make a very marketable difference for Puro.”

High levels of THC genetics are grown at Puro’s indoor research facility, and low-THC, high-CBD, and CBG varieties are grown at the Kēkerengū outdoor coastal farm. The farm has an average of 2,457 hours of sunshine per year with a high UV rating – optimal conditions for growing exceptional outdoor cannabis.

“Kēkerengū offers perfect growing conditions with a coastal microclimate that is ideal for medicinal cannabis production,” said Aldridge.

In December 2020, the first ten hectares of plants went into the ground in Kēkerengū. Aldridge and his cultivation team are eagerly awaiting the upcoming first harvest, believing that the farm’s unique terroir could yield some novel terpene and cannabinoid profiles.

In addition, Puro’s drying plant is the largest of its kind in New Zealand. It houses the company’s drying and trimming machines, which will be operational during the first commercial harvest, which officially began on March 24 and is expected to last through April.

Working towards organic certification

Puro is working hard to set new global standards for growing organic cannabis to achieve organic certification with BioGro.

Growing cannabis under strict organic protocols requires the skill and determination of an internationally experienced agronomy team.

Tom Forrest, Director of Cultivation and Churchill Fellow, is Puro’s cannabis grower. His deep knowledge and understanding of controlled pharmaceutical growers have contributed significantly to the development of Puro’s sustainable, organic and regenerative growth approach.

“Sustainability is essential to the future of agronomy, however [it] is also working to produce healthier, happier, more lucrative crops, ”said Forrest.

Forrest and his cultivation team are committed to creating a healthy rhizosphere to encourage stronger, vigorous plants.

“While the evidence is still anecdotal, we are confident that organic, natural, and organic farming practices promote healthier growth that results in higher concentrations of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids,” said Forrest.

A varied soil environment is particularly ideal for Puro’s six different strains: two auto-flowering CBD-dominant strains, two CBG-dominant strains, and two CBD-dominant strains – all from leading global breeders.

“The genetics were chosen in response to the evolving global cannabis market and the unpredictable nature of large-scale growing,” said Forrest.

Protecting local biodiversity is an important part of Puro’s sustainability mandate. According to Forrest, the company is “firmly focused on improving and refining our sustainability performance from season to season to be a leader in this area.”

Expansion goals

In its first round of investments in 2019, Puro raised $ 4 million on PledgeMe – the highest amount raised on the crowdfunding platform. Puro is now working to fund further developments including the completion of its indoor grow facility and the development of its first greenhouse in Waihopai.

These facilities will be adjacent to Puro’s existing research center and will play an important role in the continuous improvement of plant genetics. At the time of writing, Puro was halfway through its $ 2 million investment target.

The company is also partnering with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) to facilitate the first export of medical cannabis in bulk. A contract with a local buyer already exists and Puro is in further negotiations with other potential buyers.

As more countries around the world move towards legalization, sustainability plays a huge role in the conversation.

According to Aldridge, acting with sustainable business practices is right for the environment, society and their collective future.

“Sustainability is central to Puro’s ethos,” repeated Aldridge. “Our sustainable focus will also ensure that Puro is here long term as we take responsibility for improving and regenerating the land that tends our crops now and in the future.”

Comments are closed.