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Former TV host's NZ cannabis company NUBU Pharmaceuticals strikes US distribution deal

By: Sam Hurley New Zealand Herald business journalist

One of New Zealand's leading medicinal cannabis companies has announced a second distribution agreement to the United States.

NUBU Pharmaceuticals now has two deals with the first being with MGC pharmaceuticals Ltd, a European cannabis-based biopharma company supplying GMP Phyto-cannabinoid derived medicines to patients globally.

The second deal is with the US-based, global medicinal cannabis manufacturer and distributor Plants Not Pills (PNP), NUBU announced today.

The global medicinal cannabis market is estimated to be worth over one hundred billion by 2026.

NUBU's CEO Mark Dye, a former television and Newstalk ZB presenter, said the distribution agreements with MGC & PNP were an exciting development in the growth phase of the business.

"NUBU is now one of the largest New Zealand based medicinal cannabis companies (in terms of patient numbers), and continuing to build a robust network of key partners, like MGC, will not only see revenue increase, but also help satisfy existing and future demand."

Partnering with MGC, he added, will bring many other additional benefits as well. "MGC collaborates extensively with the world's best universities and companies to undertake extensive research and development across many healthcare areas, most exciting is their current research in neurological disorders, but they are also researching everything from cancer treatment through to autoimmune diseases. We are delighted to be working with MGC." The announcement comes after another Kiwi medicinal cannabis company, Rua Bioscience, signed an export partnership with a German distributor, the Herald revealed.

Rua Bioscience, based on the East Coast, secured a deal with Nimbus Health, an independent pharmaceutical wholesaler which specialises in importing and distributing pharmaceutical-grade medicinal cannabis products in Germany.

Founded in 2016 as a subsidiary of Hikurangi Enterprises Ltd, Rua Bioscience was the first company in New Zealand to be granted a licence to cultivate pharmaceutical-grade cannabis and the first to legally import high THC seeds in 2018.

The company export-led growth strategy under the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme became operational in April.

"We are aiming to fulfill the first exports under the partnership in the second half of 2021," Rua Bioscience CEO Rob Mitchell told the Herald.

"While at this time we are not in position to confirm specific quantities or the value of the agreement, it is likely to amount to a few hundred kilograms in the first year of operation to a few thousand kilograms within three years."

New Zealanders, meanwhile, will vote in September on a non-binding referendum over whether the recreational use of cannabis should become legal, based on the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.

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