Medical Kiwi Ltd co-founders, Aldo Miccio and Peter Win, are a formidable pairing with a proven track record of establishing and growing a start-up business. Effortlessly blending Aldo’s governance and Peter’s spirit of innovation, the pair co-founded New Zealand Coastal Seafoods, a growing New Zealand-based processor, distributor and exporter of premium seafood products soon to be listed on the ASX. They now find themselves at the forefront of pioneering the medicinal cannabis industry in New Zealand.
Far from being a spur-of-the moment decision, Aldo and Peter’s venture into medicinal cannabis production has been considered and well-researched. “For a number of years I have been watching what has been happening in the global industry, reading the research and listening to the success stories,” says Peter. “We were just waiting for an opportunity to develop high quality, safe medicinal cannabis products in New Zealand.”
That opportunity presented itself in December 2018 with the approval of New Zealand’s proposed Amendment Bill to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. Speaking at the time, New Zealand’s Minister of Health, David Clark, said “Today’s vote in Parliament clears the way for the creation of a medicinal cannabis scheme that will allow New Zealand companies to manufacture medicinal cannabis products for both the local and international markets … These medicinal products will be available on prescription. This will be particularly welcome as another option for people who live with chronic pain.” There is still work to be done with the Ministry of Health to design the framework for how the law will operate to enable domestic commercial cultivation and medicinal cannabis manufacture. Medicinal cannabis companies must apply for a licence that allows them to cultivate cannabis for scientific and medical research. Medical Kiwi Ltd, with the support of food safety and regulatory compliance specialists Produco Ltd, submitted an application in January 2019.
While there is a strong commercial drive behind the company, Peter’s motivation is a strong belief about the wellbeing and health benefits for the wider community. “Medical Kiwi Ltd has been set up to enable those suffering from illness or seeking alternative pain management to have access to safe, effective, high-quality medicinal cannabis,” says Peter.
It’s a sentiment shared by his co-founder and company Chairman. “We founded Medical Kiwi Ltd to realise the global opportunities for a New Zealand produced and branded medicinal product to effect real change in people’s lives and health outcomes,” says Aldo.
“We know that we have the right team in place with expert knowledge and skills and a proven track record of corporate governance to drive Medical Kiwi Ltd forward. We have a clear strategy and direction to be a commercially viable business. We won’t be spreading ourselves too thin, instead choosing to do some things and not others. This will ensure that what we do, we will do well and our products will be credible and verified. But most importantly, we want to ensure that everyone who could benefit from medicinal cannabis can access and afford it,” says Aldo. “We have seen how medicinal cannabis can improve the lives of people overseas and believe that the products we will produce will be life-changing to sufferers in our local community and wider.”
More and more people are realising the benefits of plant-based remedies and alternative therapies. And their experiences are supported by medical research which continues to identify the therapeutic effects of medicinal cannabis for a range of ailments and conditions. As a result, society’s views about medicinal cannabis is rapidly evolving. A poll commissioned by the New Zealand Drug Foundation in 2018 found that 87% of New Zealanders now support medicinal cannabis for the treatment of pain and 89% support the use of medicinal cannabis as terminal pain relief.
About Medical Kiwi:
Medical Kiwi Limited (MK) exists to pioneer the emerging medicinal cannabis industry in New Zealand, and enable the terminally ill and those in chronic pain with access to safe and effective medicinal cannabis.