Cultivation Director, Puro New Zealand
Tom Forrest is Co-Founder and Cultivation Director at Puro New Zealand, the largest medical cannabis cultivator in the country with roughly 40,000 plants on 25 acres of pristine outdoor farmland in the coastal Marlborough Region—a latitude opposite of Humboldt County, Calif. Puro also has an indoor grow facility where the company conducts cultivation research and breeding, including organic seed and clone production. That research is partially funded through a $13-million federal government grant.
An agronomist by trade, Tom has worked on commercial cultivation for the past 10 years with a background in tomato production horticulture. After entering the cannabis space, he receive the 2018 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship—the first for cannabis agronomy. Through a Churchill Fellowship research grant, Tom travelled to eight countries over four months in late 2019, visiting 50-plus cannabis operations, spending time with cultivators and learning from their varied approaches. In 2021, Tom was named the “Advocate of the Year” by the Australian Cannabis Industry Awards.
In addition to Puro, Tom is the Co-Founder of Indicated Technology, an equipment supplier in South Australia that sells hardware and consumables to licensed farms in the region. He is also employed by Stealth Garden Wholesale—a leading horticultural technology and agricultural equipment importer/supplier in Australia.