Cannabis research being undertaken at 'top secret' facility
SOUTHERN Cross University researchers will underpin ground breaking research into the state's medicinal cannabis industry as part of a $10m study from a "top-secret” growing facility in regional NSW.
By analysing the plant's physiology and bio-chemistry, the research team will analyse design agronomic parameters for cannabis plants to determine the ideal conditions for producing high quality, year-round, consistent medicinal cannabis products.
SCU Plant Science director Associate Professor Bronwyn Barkla said the new research study was a critical step in the delivery of therapeutically-consistent and safe medicinal cannabis products.
"The research team will investigate the compounds the plant produces, in what quantity, and where and how the plant synthesises those compounds,” Prof Barkla said.
"This is important for quality assurance, ensuring the industry is able to deliver a consistent and safe product of high efficacy to patients.”
The three-year research study is a $10 million collaboration between the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Cann Group Ltd, SCU, Aglive Pty Ltd and the University of Newcastle, with support from the Commonwealth Government.
The Commonwealth Government will co-invest $3 million through its Cooperative Research Centre Program (CRC-P), 'Growing the medicinal cannabis industry - from precision farming to pharmaceuticals'.
SCU leading project researcher Associate Professor Tobias Kretzschmar said the team was focusing on the active cannabis compounds (or medicinal properties) which are produced in small highly efficient bio-factories, known as trichomes or leaf hairs, which mainly sit on female flowers.
"Trichome productivity depends on genetics, developmental stages and cultivation environment,” he said.