Medicinal cannabis company, Cannatrek Limited, today announced that it had received Major Project Status from the Federal Government for its proposed $160 million production facility in Shepparton. Construction on the site will commence in 2020, and medicinal cannabis will be available in 2021.
Major Project Status is the Australian Government’s recognition of the national significance of a project – for economic growth, employment for regional Australia.
Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum said, “This project has the potential to be a game changer for this region. It will boost jobs and provide enormous economic benefits to the community but most importantly, it shows other investors that our region is a great place to do business.”
Cannatrek’s Shepparton Project will create more than 400 jobs for the Greater Shepparton area and beyond. The facility, which will be built on 178 acres of land owned by Cannatrek, will include a 160,000m2 growing area under a high-technology glasshouse. When operating at full production, the company aims to produce 160 tonnes of medicinal cannabis per year, which will make it one of the world’s largest such facilities.
Cannatrek CEO, Tommy Huppert said that he was confident Cannatrek will be a major low-cost producer of medicinal cannabis for Australian patients, as well as for world markets. “Our aim is to cultivate, process and manufacture affordable medicinal cannabis as a clean, green, therapeutic product of choice for hundreds of thousands of patients in Australia and overseas.”
Up to 500,000 Australians buy cannabis on the black market each year in order to self-medicate. Nearly all medicinal cannabis is now being imported, making it expensive.
Mr Huppert said Cannatrek chose the Shepparton region because of its abundant water, long hours of sunlight and passionate people with significant skills in agri-technology. “We believe that the region will become a major centre for the production of medicinal cannabis. We are delighted that the local council is so enthusiastic about our project.”
Cannatrek’s Queensland production facility is fully operational, with its initial plants close to harvest. It will produce 3-5 tonnes of medicinal cannabis a year.