Federal Industry Minister Karen Andrews has announced the award of a Major Project Status to Hydroganics for a multi-stage $333 million medicinal cannabis facility in South East Queensland and Canopy Growth for a $70 million facility in regional Victoria.
In addition to creating about 140 ongoing jobs, at full production Hydroganics is expected to produce an estimated turnover of $366 million, 90% of which will be generated from exporting overseas.
Canopy Growth, on the other hand, will establish its Asia Pacific headquarters and vertically integrated cultivation, manufacturing and distribution operations in Victoria, creating up to 250 ongoing jobs in the process.
In making the announcement, Ms Andrews said the medicinal cannabis industry could significantly boost exports and create many new jobs across the country.
“Australia’s trusted reputation for medical products combined with our top quality agriculture sector will propel this new domestic industry into the global market,” Minister Andrews said.
“By acting now and fast-tracking medicinal cannabis facilities, we have an opportunity to create an entirely new industry with tremendous export potential.
“This is exactly what Major Project Status is designed for. By fast-tracking nationally significant projects, we can boost our economic growth and create new jobs, including in regional areas.”
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said medicinal cannabis licence applications for projects granted Major Project Status were being prioritised within the Office of Drug Control’s licencing process.
“This demonstrates the Morrison Government’s commitment to helping people living with chronic or terminal illnesses,” Minister Hunt continued.
“The medical community is increasingly recognising the value of medicinal cannabis. As the world’s doctors look to these new treatments for their patients, Australia is well placed to become a source of trusted medicinal cannabis products.”