Tom Forrest arrives in NZ to celebrate our breakthrough crop 

23 April 21

Puro this week celebrated the arrival of our Cultivation Director from Australia and a big step towards organic status

The opening of the trans-Tasman bubble saw global expert in medicinal cannabis agronomy arrive in New Zealand this week.

Australian Tom Forrest is Marlborough medicinal cannabis company Puro’s Cultivation Director, and has been at Puro’s Kēkerengū farm since Tuesday overseeing the final days of company’s record-breaking harvest. It is the country’s largest commercial medicinal cannabis crop, and is being grown under organic protocols.

 He says it’s been great seeing Puro’s progress up close. 

 “It’s been incredibly frustrating not being able to be here for harvest and I have been chomping at the bit to get to the farm.” 

 “Two things struck me when I arrived at Kēkerengū – the sheer volume of the plants growing and being dried, and the great uniformity and acclimatised plant physiology. I’ve visited cannabis farms around the world and this is a fantastic example of commercial, sustainable medicinal cannabis production,” says Forrest.

Tom Forrest studied more than 50 cannabis farms in ten different countries as part of the research he undertook as a recipient of Churchill Fellowship in Australia. 

This week Puro has also been celebrating another step towards gaining its full organic certification.

BioGro, New Zealand's largest and best-known certifier for organic produce and products, has recently audited Puro’s medicinal cannabis cultivation at Kēkerengū and certified the site as in conversion to organic. Puro are the only cannabis cultivator in New Zealand to achieve this status.

Tom Forrest says the certification means Puro’s on track to achieve full BioGro Organic status for the Kēkerengū site in the next 18 months.

“There’s only a handful of commercial medicinal cannabis operations with an organic certification like BioGro that is recognised internationally. Achieving full organic status will put us in a very select group,” says Forrest.

Tom Forrest says Puro has achieved incredible results in their first commercial season.

“It’s clear the Puro team have designed and implemented novel solutions to commercial cannabis cultivation, drying and processing. The farm is a testament to the potential of premium medicinal cannabis cultivation in the Marlborough region,” says Forrest.

Last week Puro successfully raised $2 million through its second PledgeMe capital campaign. The funds will be used to complete development of Puro’s breeding facility in Waihopai, near Blenheim, which will sit beside its existing research facility at the site.

Puro Managing Director Tim Aldridge is delighted with the response to the capital raise.

“We’re feeling humbled, excited and so thankful to all those who share our vision. We know the future is bright for this emerging industry here in New Zealand, and Puro is at the forefront of it,” says Aldridge.

IMAGE: Tom Forrest (left) with our Hemp Cultivation Advisor Steve Burnett