Greater Shepparton will soon be home to the lawful production and supply of this plant with therapeutic benefits.
Vastly different from the common Monstera or Devil’s Ivy, the cannabis plant has only recently been recognised for its medical benefits. While the positive impact of plant medicine has just become mainstream, Cannatrek founder Tommy Huppert has known about the value of plant-based therapies for a long time.
“It’s an old ancient medicine that’s coming back into the foray and offers an alternative to the more traditional chemical medicine,” Tommy said.
In 2017, Cannatrek launched its first site in Brisbane, Queensland with a dedicated research and development greenhouse facility. The site produces vital research and medical treatment for more than 30,000 patients.
With huge success in Queensland, Tommy decided to expand the business down south and began the search for a site with optimal conditions.
Ultimately, his eyes landed right in the heart of regional Victoria - Greater Shepparton to be exact. Located in the north-east part of the state and home to Victoria’s best produce and warm conditions, it stood out as the prime region.
“We were lucky to find a large piece of available land to build our new facility,” Tommy said.
“The Goulburn Valley is truly a golden area with proximity to Melbourne, resources and lots of daylight.”
With support from the Victorian Government, the site will welcome a multi-million-dollar medicinal cannabis outdoor growth facility, and will also include an indoor cultivation area and post-harvest facility. With possibility of a glasshouse development as well, the site will meet the varying needs of patients across regional Victoria.
The facilities and their automated climate and watering control system allow cannabis plants to grow all year round. The plants are then transported to Cannatrek’s nearby packing and distribution facility.
The project will also create 76 new jobs for the region, boosting Victoria’s employment opportunities.
Cannatrek Operations Manager, Damien Byrne, says they are looking to recruit for all skill sets in cultivation and production, packaging, logistics, administration and management.
“The need for these skills will open the door for the creation of jobs in the area and will certainly meet the demand,” he said.
“People are already contacting us asking what’s available.”
The investment could also quadruple Cannatrek’s annual supply of medicinal cannabis to 15 tonnes each year, with plans to transition the project to renewable power in the future.
Tommy says the facility will help produce the highest quality medicine, allowing Cannatrek to deliver on their promises to those in need.
“We have commissioned an automated packing line that produces 20,000 units of medicinal cannabis per day,” he said.
Pharmacies can dispense medicinal cannabis products if they meet the Australian Department of Health’s requirements. The products are available to people who meet specific eligibility criteria, which are prescribed by a doctor who follows the correct process and provides justification to a regulatory government authority as to why a person needs the treatment.
The project aligns with the Victorian Government’s Medicinal Cannabis Industry Development Plan to supply half of Australia’s medicinal cannabis by 2028.
Greater Shepparton has certainly made its mark on the map for Australia and now the world for medicinal cannabis manufacturing and cultivation.
The project has been funded through the Victorian government’s Regional Jobs Fund which is part of the government’s flagship Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund.
For more information visit Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund.