Pending Research Might Produce Seminal Results For New Zealand’s Cannabis Industry

Pending Research Might Produce Seminal Results For New Zealand’s Cannabis Industry

New Zealand isn’t quite yet prepared for the full legalization of cannabis. It was a major topic of discussion during the 2020 election, but the people spoke and they were not in favor of a legal market. It’s unfortunate, but the interest surrounding medicinal cannabis is still alive. Roadblocks in testing and cultivation have presented obstacles for commercial marijuana growers, though new research could produce groundbreaking results for the industry as a whole.

According to the New Zealand Herald, a new collaborative research project between Rua Bioscience and the University of Waikato will delve into the use of hyperspectral technology in the cultivation and testing of cannabis over the course of two years. NZ is already known for its advanced agritech, but because of cannabis laws, they haven’t been able to fully apply these advancements to the cultivation process.

The cannabis industry already faced issues, specifically for growers, when it came to the testing process. Not only is the assessment expensive, but it also resulted in wasted product and postponed decision making because of the turn-around time. The benefit that hyperspectral imaging would allow for more detailed examinations and management of crops. It would also help raise the standard for medicinal cannabis. The process would give growers a better glimpse at optimal harvesting times, as well as detecting any contamination during the growing process.

Rua Bioscience chief research officer Dr. Jessica Nowak said a massive problem that medicinal marijuana growers face these days is the varying levels and quality of cannabinoid production. The final product after the cannabis is cured doesn’t uphold pharmaceutical standards.

“Testing is therefore critical and needs to be extensive, but there is currently no cost-effective, commercially viable technology that instantly assesses the consistency of an entire crop,” Nowak stated.

Nowak said that she’s hoping the research can help specify parts of the cannabis plant that need support, especially in the case of lighting, humidity, and nutrient levels.

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