Whānau in isolated East Coast communities have invested over one million dollars in a new company which is looking to profit from the emerging medical cannabis industry.
More than 550 people have so far committed to purchase shares in Waiapu Investments Limited.
The company's first investment is intended to be Hikurangi Cannabis Company, a Ruatoria-based medical cannabis venture.
"If the government is looking for local skin in the game before offering support to provincial economic development initiatives, then hopefully this level of support demonstrates that local commitment" said Waiapu Investments managing director Panapa Ehau.
Sixty precent of the funds were raised in five rural village meetings before the roadshow got to Gisborne yesterday.
The funds contributed will enable the building an extraction lab, processing facility and state of the art glasshouses to be built at Ruatoria as soon as a licence is issued by the Ministry of Health.