[27 April/NZ Herald]

Thousands of people have registered an interest in a share offer to raise up to $2 million for a medical cannabis venture, Waipu Investments. Waipu Investments is a vehicle created by Hikurangi Enterprises for ventures in natural health products. Subject to a medical cannabis licence being granted, the funds would be invested in the company to build a pharmaceuticals processing facility and conduct stage one clinical trials for a medical cannabis product. Waiapu Investments Managing Director, Panapa Ehau, said supporting the development of proven medicine was a top priority for the funds raised through the offer. Hikurangi Cannabis Company said it had signed a letter of intent to produce 12,000 kg of pharmaceutical grade cannabis. Hikurangi Cannabis Managing Director, Manu Caddie, noted that the deal was a lifeline for a region that had few high-value products and where unemployment levels were high. Mr Caddie noted it was a high risk investment in a highly uncertain regulatory environment and new industry.