Medical Cannabis Advertising Campaign Kicks Off In NZ

Medical cannabis billboard in Auckland
Image: Helius via Facebook.

A New Zealand medical cannabis company isn’t letting the grass grow under its feet (so to speak) – billboards have appeared in Auckland and other major centres, with more promotion to follow.

It was only last week that new legislation passed in the country, giving NZ terminally ill patients a legal defence for cannabis use and altering the status of cannabidiol so it is no longer classed as a controlled drug.

The company behind the billboards is Helius, which we mentioned last week in connection with a recent poll on medical cannabis. The billboards feature Kiwis from all walks of life who support the use of the plant to alleviate/treat various medical conditions.

Helius says the billboards:

“honour Kiwis; parents, grandparents and patients. Entrepreneurs, artists and everyday people, each with a story to tell, who believe in the benefits of widespread access to medicinal cannabis.”

… and let’s not forget to promoting the company too, although to its credit, the mention of Helius on the billboard appears to be quite subtle. The company says it’s had an overwhelmingly positive response to the campaign, however, it appears there have also been several complaints.

While Helius already has a significant amount of financial skin in the game, it doesn’t have any products to sell currently – but that doesn’t seem to be too far off.

In late October, the New Zealand Ministry of Health granted it a cultivation license for its facility in East Tamaki. Initially covering 6,000sqm with the ability to expand up to 20,000sqm, it’s one of the largest facilities of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and can managed around 140,000 plants. The NZ $50m facility has the capacity to produce around 50 tons of plant material per annum.  Helius says it chose a secure indoor site over growing outdoors in order to maintain better levels of control over cultivation.

Just a few days later, the company announced it had acquired an additional 10,000sqm hydroponic greenhouse on a 8 hectare site in Kumeu, Auckland, which it plans to use to cultivate a strain of cannabis high in CBD (cannabidiol).

Also in November, the company said was the first Kiwi medicinal cannabis manufacturer to be licensed under the Buy New Zealand Made Campaign, which enables it to display the “New Zealand Grown” trademark.

Helius doesn’t appear to be the type of company to hide its candle under a bushel, and no doubt we’ll be hearing a lot more from the firm in the time ahead.