Pharmaceutical company Rua Bioscience has secured one of New Zealand’s largest flower producers as its first major cultivation partner. Medbloom was established by Frans and Suzette van Dorsser, owners of Pukekohe nursery, Blooming Hill Flowers, to focus on greenhouse cultivation of medicinal cannabis.
Medbloom has signed a commercial agreement to grow and supply Rua with cannabis plant material, which Rua will process into pharmaceutical grade medicinal cannabis products at its specialist pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Gisborne. Under the agreement, the two companies will also collaborate on the development of new cultivation innovations for growing medicinal cannabis.
Suzette and Frans van Dorsser, owners of Medbloom, with Rua Bioscience CEO Rob Mitchell and co-founder and Kaihautu Manu Caddie at Blooming Hill Flowers’ Pukekohe nursery.
Frans and Suzette currently operate 20,000 sqm of controlled greenhouses in Pukekohe, and Medbloom is developing a purpose built cannabis cultivation facility on the same site.
“We are thrilled to have Medbloom join the Rua whanau,” says Rua CEO Rob Mitchell.
“Frans and Suzette bring significant experience, networks and infrastructure to help us meet the ambitious export targets for dried cannabis flower we have agreed to with our German distributor. With this partnership Rua can scale up quickly and bring new IP into our current and future cultivation operations at Ruatorea.
“The cultivation partnership will allow us to quickly increase access to cannabis plant material that meets export quality standards and complements our new indoor cultivation facilities at Ruatorea.
“It also provides geographical diversification to ensure a consistent supply of flowers to our own specialist pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Gisborne.
“This is another important milestone as we move towards plans to raise capital and list on the NZX, with an Initial Public Offering planned to open next week.”
Medbloom owners Frans & Suzette van Dorsser currently operate nearly 20,000m2 of controlled glasshouses used to produce ornamental cut flowers for the New Zealand market.
“Medbloom brings two generations of large scale glasshouse flower growing experience that we can utilise at Ruatorea to expand once we have proven the market exists for cannabis flowers from both fully controlled indoor and glasshouse cultivation,” says Rua co-founder and Board member Panapa Ehau.
Frans van Dorsser came to New Zealand with his parents from the Netherlands 32 years ago and the family has retained ties to the world-leading Dutch controlled horticulture sector.
“We are working with plant science and protected cropping experts in the Netherlands on state of the art designs for the cannabis cultivation process, from glasshouse design, climate control and pest control to growing media and fertigation” says Frans.
“We are excited about the opportunity to bring decades of commercial flower production experience to the medicinal cannabis sector. Producing a pharmaceutical product has some additional infrastructure and production steps involved, but we know how to grow successfully at a large scale and we wanted to be part of the Rua Bioscience story because we love what they are creating in Tairāwhiti.”
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