NZ: People, innovation, and sustainability at the heart of the MMJ sector

New Zealand start-up Greenfern is on its way to becoming an environmental leader in the burgeoning, highly electricity-reliant medicinal cannabis sector.

Row upon row of feathery leaves create an emerald blanket inside the greenhouse. Just beyond, a torrent of water rushes through the hydro power station that helps to grow the thriving plants. In the distance, snow-capped Mount Taranaki is ethereal, shrouded in mist.
This is the very scene that the founders of Greenfern Medicinal Marijuana are realising at a unique and pristine location in New Zealand’s North Island, a company ready to take on the medicinal cannabis sector. Set on the banks of the Waingongoro River in Normanby, construction is due to begin on the growing and extraction facilities later this year, where thousands of cannabis plants are destined to be turned into premium quality, pharmaceutical grade products.

While there is a strong economic case for the operation, the founders of Greenfern have other priorities at the heart of this operation. Namely, people and the environment.
They’re aiming to produce premium quality medicinal cannabis grown indoors using renewable hydro energy. Therein lies their unique competitive advantage. Commercial cannabis production consumes a lot of energy. It is perhaps the largest overhead in the production process. Located right beside the Normanby Hydro Power Station, Greenfern has secured an agreement to procure exceptionally low power from the station which they are also shareholders in.

It makes sense from both an economic and environmental perspective to use hydro power to grow these medical marvels, and the consumer will benefit. Reduced growing costs means Greenfern will be able to provide products to the market at a price that’s affordable.
The key market for cannabinoid products that Greenfern has identified is people with chronic health issues such as arthritis, cancer and epilepsy. That market is also part of the inspiration that drove the start-up’s founders to launch Greenfern.


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