Select Page

SETEK Cites Challenges Around Public and Medical Education

17 April 2019

SETEK Therapeutics, a Taupo-based medical cannabis company, has cautioned that public education and helping the medical profession to better understand medicinal cannabis will be a key challenge.

Chair of the SETEK Advisory Board and former Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says there are significant challenges surrounding attitudes and views towards cannabis-based medicines from both the public and the medical profession.

SETEK became the fourth company to receive a licence from the Ministry of Health to cultivate cannabis plants, and only the second to receive permission to grow high THC cultivars for research, in what is projected globally to be an $11 billion medical cannabis industry by 2022.

Mr Dunne says: “There seems to be this public perception that cannabis-based medicines are the new panacea that will cure any health issues, this is not the case.”

“But cannabis-based medicines will be hugely beneficial for a number of medical conditions, including those suffering from intractable pain and spasticity disorders.

 “Significant work will be required to help the medical profession better understand how medicinal cannabis products can benefit the treatment of their patients,” says Mr Dunne.

Mr Dunne took up his position with the SETEK Therapeutics in September 2018.

“I joined SETEK because I was not only impressed with their vision and plans to build a successful international business, but also their genuine focus on helping people,” says Mr Dunne.

SETEK was founded in 2018 by Taupo businessman David Pearce and Mark Mees, with the aim of becoming New Zealand’s leading cultivator and producer of medical cannabis products.

 SETEK Therapeutics is the only New Zealand company to preclude any involvement in the production of flower or loose leaf for smoking.

 SETEK Chief Executive Mark Mees says the company fully supports the government’s Aotearoa New Zealand 2025 Smokefree goal, and say there are a number of healthier and more effective ways to consume medical cannabis.

The Government’s cannabis regulations are expected to be completed by the end of 2019, with associated licensing, audit and compliance functions completed by mid-2020 which Mr Mees says will signify the start of the cannabis market in New Zealand.

SETEK recently secured a 26-hectare block of land in Taupo to establish its operational plant, which is expected to create more than 100 jobs for the local economy.

Mr Mees says SETEK has been methodical and deliberate about its development and looking ahead three to five years, it aims to have built a successful commercial operation and established itself as one of the world’s leading medical cannabis brands.  

“This is a complex, rapidly evolving new industry that doesn’t even have a regulatory framework yet, but we have already seen the failure of several New Zealand start-ups before they’ve got out of the starting blocks,” he says.

Mr Mees says SETEK aims to have its first products on the market by the end of 2020.

“We have always been more concerned with doing it right than getting there first, as we aim to become New Zealand’s most trusted and lowest cost-provider of pharmaceutical-grade, 100% New Zealand-certified organic medical cannabis products,” says Mr Mees.

SETEK Advisory Board Chair Talks About Medicinal Cannabis Sector

10 April 2019

Chair of the SETEK Advisory Board and former New Zealand Associate Health Minister Hon. Peter Dunne talks about his role with SETEK, the future of the medicinal cannabis sector and the need for public and medical education.

SETEK Management and Advisory Board at Taupo Site

2 April 2019

The Management team and Advisory Board of SETEK Therapeutics at the site of its proposed Taupo plant.

Pictured from left to right: Dr. Mike Nichols (Advisory Board, Horticultural Science), Jane Pearce (SETEK Finance & Administration), Mark Mees (CEO), Hon Peter Dunne (Advisory Board Chair), David Pearce (COO), Dr. Denise Taylor (Advisory Board, Clinical Pharmacology) and Martin Gray (Advisory Board, Commercial M&A).

New Zealand Just Days From Legalising Medicinal Cannabis

11 December 2018

Following the third reading of The Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill and its passing by the House, it’s now just a matter of signing the bill into law by giving it the Royal assent, which is done on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General.

Whilst this is tremendous news for many of those patients who will most benefit from medical cannabis, many are disappointed with the bill’s controversial exclusion of intractable pain as a general qualifying condition.

New Zealand’s emerging ‘canna-business’ sector now waits with baited breath for the new regulatory framework (medical cannabis scheme) which looks unlikely to be implemented before 2020.


Important Announcement

30 November 2018



If you want to continue your good work within a legal framework in 2020 helping those in most desperate need, then click here: EXPRESSION OF INTEREST DOCUMENT- NZ Growers


Hon. Peter Dunne to Lead SETEK Advisory Board

12 September 2018

SETEK Chief Executive Mark Mees has announced two key appointments to the SETEK Advisory Board.

“I am delighted to report that the Hon Peter Dunne has accepted the position of Chairman of SETEK’s Advisory Board, joining experienced M&A specialist, Martin Gray of Armillary Private Capital.”

Hon Peter Dunne said his decision to join SETEK was ultimately an easy one to make.

“The SETEK Board of Directors impressed me not only with their vision and plans to build a successful international business, but also their genuine focus on helping people. Mark demonstrates a balanced mix of corporate thinking and good old-fashioned values that really resonated with me.”

“During my time as Associate Minister of Health I started the process of making cannabis-based medicines more available. But there is more to do” said Hon Dunne.

“With the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill making its way through Parliament, I am looking forward to working with the SETEK Board to achieve a mutual vision of making premium quality, New Zealand grown cannabis-based medicinal products available to all those New Zealanders who will benefit from them,” Dunne said.

Mr Mees said that the company is focused on ‘getting it right, not getting there first’.

“We may not be the first cab off the rank to produce Medicinal Cannabis in New Zealand, but our planning and execution will more than compensate. We’re passionately committed to setting the ‘Gold standard’ in this new industry in New Zealand; as a producer; as an employer and as a business partner.

The SETEK name will become synonymous with quality in everything we do.” said Mr Mees.

“Mark has assembled an impressive team and the opportunities ahead are exciting. As Advisory Board members, Martin and myself are looking forward immensely to working with SETEK in every way that we can to help them realise their goals—and I am sure you will see a number of  announcements over the coming months,” said Hon Dunne.

Martin Gray added that the company has a number of exciting opportunities in front of it and is well placed to build a significant New Zealand and international business.

SETEK is a 100% New Zealand owned company primed to enter the CBD and Medicinal Cannabis market and expects its first CBD products to be ready for market in 2019.   SETEK was co-founded by David Peace and Mark Mees in early 2018.

Media Enquiries

Samson Samasoni

021 147 5981