The Buy New Zealand Made Campaign this week licensed the country's first medicinal cannabis manufacturer to use the New Zealand Grown logo.

Helius Therapeutics, the Auckland firm which recently secured $15 million in funding through rich lister Guy Haddleton, now has approval to carry the "New Zealand Made" logo on any products derived from cannabis grown in New Zealand.

Helius executive director Paul Manning, who worked in the advertising industry for years before moving into the cannabis space, sees enormous value in being able to draw from New Zealand's reputation when taking his products to market.

"When it comes to natural health and food products, nothing beats New Zealand provenance," Manning told the Herald.


"We see enormous potential for exporting New Zealand Grown cannabis products to the world."

With legislation set to be relaxed in the coming year, New Zealand will enter a global market already well serviced by a number of big international players, particularly in North America.

Helius and all the other local players will have to play a game of catch-up as they look to narrow the market lead between New Zealand and countries that have moved faster in loosening restrictions on the cultivation and sale of cannabis products.

Manning believes that the "New Zealand Grown" licence can play a role in giving his products a point of difference when taking his products to market.

"Across the world, and particularly in Asia, New Zealand-made products are in high demand and command a premium," he says.

"The global cannabis market is estimated to reach $200 billion by 2025 and there will be enormous value in being New Zealand-grown."

The strength New Zealand's brand in the Asian market was on full show earlier this month during "Singles Day" promotional event, which saw Anchor, Ecostore, A2 Milk and a number of other brands rake in millions of dollars in online sales via Alibaba.

While many of these brands trade on New Zealand's reputation, the appeal of our nation's clean image is perhaps best illustrated through the sale of canisters of Kiwi air for as much as $141.


If air can be sold at that price, then one can only imagine how much premium cannabis-derived products will be able to fetch once they enter the market.