A $50,000 study into the commercial potential for growing medicinal plants and floriculture in the region will not yet consider medicinal marijuana.
Whanganui and Rangitikei district councils have teamed up with Whanganui and Partners to research opportunities in the industry and will undertake a study which has received a $35,000 contribution from the Government's Provincial Growth Fund.
Floriculture and medicinal plants have been identified by the organisations as premium commercial crops which are already grown in the region at small scale and do not require large blocks of land or major capital investment.
Whanganui & Partners' deputy board chairwoman Susanne Clay says the scope of this initial project is focused on reviewing and collating information generated from previous studies.
"We will be including detail on feasibility matters such as the basic business entry requirements and risks, training and an overview of the market and trends," he said.
But she said investigating the growing of medical marijuana or any cannabis-based product was "not under consideration at this time".
The work is expected to be completed by March 2019 and findings will be presented through a range of events.
"We will then scope out preparation for subsequent funding applications to conduct pilot studies and develop business cases for implementation," Clay said.
Wanganui Rural Community Board deputy chair Grant Skilton said the Board supported the feasibility study.
"If we are going to retain our local service industries and infrastructure that we currently rely upon, we need economic growth well beyond the status quo and need to think of innovative ways for our region to prosper."