Two key ingredients for medical cannabis production are sunshine and ultra-violet light so that is exactly what Puro was looking for when it handpicked its two growing sites.
The result of that search was the company signing 20 year leases on two sites – the first for indoor glasshouse growing in the Waihopai Valley, the second for outdoor growing in Kēkerengū.
Both sites have high sunshine hours and intense UV ratings. That means plants grown there have the potential to produce high cannabinoids and flavonoids without reliance on artificial light. This should enable Puro to grow high potency cannabis that is sought by global manufacturers.
The site at Kēkerengū has another natural advantage – it’s on the coast which not only protects crops from frost but it means there’s a gentle salt spray which will help protect plants from pests and disease.
Puro is growing under organic protocols and has commenced the organic certification process for its outdoor crop, with initial Standard Operating Procedures having been submitted to BioGro and the first audit having taken place in late February 2021.
Prior to Puro’s crops being planted at the Winterhome Farm in Kēkerengū, the farm had followed sustainable practices and implemented a Farm Environment Plan with independent monitoring of soils to ensure no unsafe contaminants were introduced.
If Puro achieves its organic certification, it expects to be one of only a few medical cannabis cultivators worldwide with this accreditation – offering it a highly marketable point of difference in key export markets.
And that point of difference has the potential to be lucrative too – with indications that organic certified cannabis products are selling at a premium of 50 to 200% more than similar non-organic products.