Top-secret spot for five tonnes of cannabis
QUEENSLAND'S rapidly expanding medicinal cannabis industry is showing no signs of slowing with the first shipment of seeds arriving at a new top-secret facility.
Cannatrek Limited has been awarded a permit from the Office of Drug Control to start growing medicinal cannabis at its southern Queensland greenhouse.
Up to 5 tonne of medicinal cannabis will be grown inside the 3200sqm climate-controlled house, which will support 10 full-time jobs plus seasonal workers.
Last month Medifarm opened Queensland's first medicinal cannabis facility at a top-secret location in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Cannatrek Research and Compliance director Emily Rigby said the rapid expansion of the cannabis industry came as health professionals slowly recognised its benefits.
"The cannabis plant is unique in the plant kingdom with more than 100 different active compounds, and each one or a combination of, can affect a different medical issue," she said.
Ms Rigby said Cannatrek would use its new Queensland facility to produce unique varieties to treat patients.
"We are currently developing clinical trial protocols to assess medicinal cannabis for the treatment of mental illness," she said.
"For too long, Australians have had to import medicinal cannabis, which is very expensive.
"Australia is well-positioned to lead the world in this new and emerging industry due to its innovative and adaptive agricultural and biomedical industries, international trade relationships, quality branding and favourable climatic conditions."
Cannatrek CEO Tommy Huppert said the first shipment of medicinal cannabis seeds had arrived at the Queensland facility and more varieties would soon follow.
"We will trial a variety of genetic strains in order to locate the best strains and then use those strains to produce up to 5 tonne of diverse, low-cost medicines for the growing number of patients in Australia and overseas," Mr Huppert said.
The development of the Queensland facility comes after Cannatrek was granted planning permission from the Greater Shepparton City Council to build a $160 million medicinal cannabis production facility in Victoria.
It will be one of the world's largest medicinal cannabis glasshouses, covering 160,000sqm and producing 160 tonnes of medicinal cannabis each year.
The facility will create more than 400 jobs.
In February 2016 the Commonwealth Government established a licensing and permit scheme for the research, cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products.