Our opportunity to become the Manuka Honey of medicinal cannabis
By David Pearce, Co-Chief Executive of SETEK.
In developing its new regulatory scheme, the New Zealand government has clearly given serious thought as to how New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis industry can maximise success – both internationally and at home.
We are blessed to start an industry with a natural advantage in New Zealand’s favourable growing conditions and thriving horticultural and biotech sectors. We have also been able to see first-hand how other horticultural sectors have leveraged these assets to create strong, value-accretive industries, such as wine, kiwifruit, apples and honey.
Some horticultural products, like medicinal cannabis, involve a large degree of processing and strict manufacturing conditions; others are sold fresh. Regardless of product form, most of our horticultural success stems from a deep understanding of customer needs, unrelenting commitment to product quality, and ongoing product R&D to maintain competitive advantage.
This value-add approach has enabled New Zealand’s horticultural exports to achieve strong brand differentiation and command pricing premiums against their more commoditised competitors. At SETEK we believe there is a real opportunity for New Zealand medicinal cannabis to emulate this approach.
Our industry has the potential to use its natural advantages – high quality raw ingredients; world-class horticultural, medical and bio scientific expertise; and GMP manufacturing – to create our own ‘NZ Inc’ reputation overseas. Like honey and wine, we can target affluent niche markets, providing trusted, New Zealand-produced products to meet their needs.
This, in a nutshell, is SETEK’s strategy as a producer, developer and manufacturer. SETEK is going one step further with its commitment to become New Zealand’s lowest-cost 100% organic provider and to be one of the world’s first net carbon-neutral indoor cannabis companies. Regardless, we believe the industry has a real opportunity to collectively create ‘NZ Inc’ and develop a clear point of difference for our medicinal cannabis products.
SETEK is a gold sponsor of MedCan Summit 2020.