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4/20 stories, pt. 4:

"The NZ market has grown by almost 2.5 times over the past year"

With just two more days left until 4/20, let's take a look at how things are going for the New Zealand market. And from a supplier's perspective, what are currently the biggest opportunities and challenges?

Growing quickly
"The NZ market has grown almost two and a half times over the past year, with 155,000 packs dispensed in 2023 compared to 60,000 in 2022," says Carmen Doran, CEO of Helius. "In NZ, any doctor can prescribe medicinal cannabis for any condition and any pharmacy can dispense. The biggest area of growth is in the flower market with prices coming down considerably to patients and the range of products available expanding. Around half the products in market are made locally with the others imported from countries such as Denmark, Canada and Australia."

Carmen Doran

Helius is currently focused on scaling up its operations, through lean manufacturing approaches, to meet the growing demand locally as well as their international export contracts. "In the market, we are leading the charge on healthcare professional education, with this being identified as one of the biggest barriers to patient access. We have recently hosted 5 onsite education events and have a program of education planned across the country including attending the major doctor conferences," Carmen says.

According to Carmen, the market is dynamic and growing quickly. "I'm excited to see more doctor learning about medicinal cannabis and prescribing a wider range of products. This year, we will see more NZ-grown, NZ-made products launched which is great news for our Kiwi patients. We will also see the industry scale for exports, with high-quality NZ-grown, NZ made products reaching patients around the world."

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Transformation in cultivation
According to Gary Arnold, VP of TSRgrow, the cultivation market is currently experiencing a significant transformation. "Cultivators are facing challenges such as regulatory pressures, tax burdens, and increased competition leading to price erosion. There's a growing demand for high-quality products and a wider variety of strains, coupled with rising energy costs. To remain competitive and successful, cultivators are realizing the importance of integrating their operations to control costs and ensure consistent crop quality. The overall market outlook indicates a shift towards more efficient and sustainable cultivation practices to meet the changing landscape. TSRgrow has been responding to these industry changes with innovative solutions like their Advanced TOTALgrow Solution, which is designed to help cultivators future-proof their businesses and adapt to the evolving market demands."

TSRgrow's new HarvestPRO cultivation container

In the rapidly evolving field of cultivation, adaptability is key, Gary says. "Facilities must be designed with flexibility in mind, allowing for adjustments in response to shifting business objectives, plant genetics, market trends, and consumer demands. By conducting thorough reviews and tailoring recommendations to align with a cultivator's specific business goals, TSRgrow is addressing these challenges head-on, ensuring that their solutions are not only effective but also resilient to change."

When it comes to the future, Gary says that significant growth is anticipated in the cannabis industry due to new legal markets and advancements in cannabis product offerings. "TSRgrow are well-positioned to capitalize on this trend, especially in states with new recreational usage laws, by providing solutions that avoid past cultivator mistakes and offer scalability and exit strategies. Established markets are likely to invest in upgrades for energy efficiency and product consistency, presenting TSRgrow with further opportunities for growth and innovation."

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