Crowdfunding boosts Te Horo based medicinal cannabis company Phytotecnia

Irene Lopez-Ubiria and Alvaro Vidiella-Salaberry. Photo / Supplied

A medicinal cannabis company based in Te Horo, north of Wellington, has proved very popular with the public.

Agricultural engineers Irene Lopez-Ubiria and Alvaro Vidiella-Salaberry sought crowdfunding for their Phytotecnia Ltd company via PledgeMe which started midway in November last year.

They thought they might be lucky to raise $500,000 but have been humbled with over $860,000 so far.

“We are super happy and many local people are supporting us too,” Irene said.

“It [the money] has been a slow and steady flow.

“People seem to need some time to understand what we’re doing.

“We’ve received lots of questions.”

The funding along with their own money as well as from family, friends and a Callaghan Innovation R&D loan give the couple the opportunity to upscale when they decide to.

“The main thing is we are committed to getting production under way to sell this year,” Irene said.

Phytotecnia's mother plants. Photo / Supplied
Phytotecnia’s mother plants. Photo / Supplied

Already a lot has happened at the company which has a focus to research and produce medicinal cannabis.

A 360sq m highly specced glasshouse to grow the cannabis has been created, including strong security measures such as cameras and a high electric fence.

The couple, originally from Spain, has a research licence, and importantly, a commercial production licence, which was issued a few days before Christmas, from the Ministry of Health.

Cultivation can begin and they can import various cannabis varieties too.

“The good thing is we’re not restricted in what we can do,” Irene said.

“We want to become a reference in the medicinal cannabis world in New Zealand,” Alvaro said.

“We have a very different philosophy from other companies.

“With our expertise, the way we’re doing this, and our lean approach, we can go very far.

“We’re also developing several research and production partnerships with big players overseas.”

To find out more about the company go to