NZ’s Helius gains certification key to export success
Helius Therapeutics has received Good Agricultural and Collection Practice (GACP) certification at its purpose-built medicinal cannabis facility in East Tamaki, Auckland.
Recognised globally, GACP is a leading certification standard for medicinal cannabis. It outlines minimum requirements for growers in creating high quality, consistent flower.
“Achieving GACP is another key milestone for the Helius team in our journey to full site certification. GACP is a well-recognised requirement for medicinal cannabis in many countries. Gaining this certification will only open more doors as we now unleash our export strategy,” says Carmen Doran, chief executive of Helius Therapeutics.
October was a month of audits for Helius. Notification of New Zealand’s largest medicinal cannabis company gaining GACP is the first in a series of announcements.
“This certification reinforces that Helius is a medicines company first and foremost. We are unleashing the power of cannabis to improve lives. Our research team’s primary focus is to unlock the global potential of medical-grade cannabis therapeutics, developed from New Zealand,” she says.
In September Helius became the first New Zealand medicinal cannabis company to gain approval for products derived from locally grown cannabis plants, with the Full Spectrum CBD medicines also locally extracted and manufactured. This followed Helius gaining verification of its active ingredient meeting the quality standard in late August.
In New Zealand every doctor can now prescribe medicinal cannabis for any health condition, with more healthcare professionals willing to back the much talked-about natural alternative. In fact, according to Minister of Health Andrew Little,17,363 packs of medicinal cannabis meeting minimum quality standards were supplied within New Zealand between 1 July 2022 and 30 September 2022.
“Over the past year, following the regulation of our local medicinal cannabis sector, many Kiwi patients have legally accessed New Zealand-made products, and more recently, New Zealand-grown. Helius is changing it up a gear, with 2023 seeing more products and more markets being served from our site in New Zealand and that’s incredibly exciting,” says Ms Doran.
Priority export markets for Helius are Europe and South America, with the private 100% Kiwi-owned company continuing to secure investment to accelerate its domestic and international growth plans.
Helius was New Zealand’s first medicinal cannabis business to achieve a GMP Licence for Manufacturing Medicines in July 2021, covering the first products to market three months later.
Helius leverages vertical integration, from plant to patient. Operations connect cultivar breeding to yield optimisation; precision extraction of high-value cannabinoids, next-generation medicine development, GMP production, plus academic and a number of scientific partnerships.
“Helius is defining the standard for trusted accessible cannabis-based medicines. These are difficult times economically, with New Zealand needing new and sustainable businesses providing strong export revenue opportunities. In additional to delivering on people’s quality of life at home, Helius is proud to be a key player in New Zealand’s newest and most exciting industry delivering to the world,” says Carmen Doran.