This week Helius is moving into its new, integrated facility; a contemporary industrial building located at in East Tamaki, Auckland. It will be valued at $50m on completion.
Helius will operate the country’s first fully-integrated, GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) cannabis production site. The facility’s design is unique in New Zealand, being a large-scale, indoor, integrated cannabis therapeutics producer, the likes of which are rarely seen outside of North America.
“We are developing a state-of-the-art facility here in Auckland, with indoor controlled growing systems, integrated extraction site, an advanced cannabinoid research laboratory, manufacturing operations and management offices, under one roof” say Mr Manning.
The hydroponic cultivation area will span an initial 6,000sqm with the ability to expand up to 20,000sqm within the site, making it one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. At capacity the site can manage around 140,000 plants, producing 50 tons of medicinal cannabis product. The facility is capable of producing around $700m in cannabinoid therapeutics per annum.
Helius has already developed 1,200sqm of laboratories on site. A commercial-grade cannabinoid extraction and manufacturing facility is adjacent, where staff will draw oil from the cannabis plants.
The Helius facility has a 200-seat auditorium, which will be used primarily for training of medical practitioners, tertiary students, staff and those looking to work in the industry. It also has its own café and recreation facilities for staff onsite. Helius estimated it will employ 120 staff at this East Tamaki facility upon completion.
“Helius chose a secure indoor site over growing outdoors for the purpose of control. We’re a biotechnology company, cultivating cannabis initially for research purposes, and ultimately to produce world-class therapeutics from New Zealand. This site allows for precision cultivation, medical-grade integrated production and high security”, says Manning.
Plant material is expected to arrive in the new year, imported from North America
Manning says, “Helius exists to improve quality of life through medicinal cannabis therapeutics. By developing this large-scale facility, we can serve domestic patients and have the capacity for export to the global marketplace. This scale will allow Helius to make high quality products that are affordable for New Zealand patients”.
Cultivation space: 6,000sqm initially with ability to expand up to 20,000sqm on site
Laboratories and formulation: 1,200sqm
Total plant capacity: Approx 140,000
Raw capacity: 50 tons p/a
Value of medicinal cannabis: Approx $700m
Facility value on completion: $50m