Government grants Major Project Status for medicinal cannabis expansion

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The federal government has announced it has granted Major Project Status for the medicinal cannabis industry for the development of new facilities in South East Queensland and regional Victoria.

Industry minister Karen Andrews said it has the potential to grow to a $1.2 billion industry over the next 10 years.

“Australia’s trusted reputation for medical products combined with our top quality agriculture sector will propel this new domestic industry into the global market,” said Minister Andrews.

“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.”

Major Project Status has been granted 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 140 ongoing jobs, at full production Hydroganics is expected to produce an estimated turnover of $366 million. 90 per cent of the turnover will be generated from exporting overseas.

Canopy Growth will establish its Asia Pacific headquarters and vertically integrated cultivation, manufacturing and distribution operations in Victoria which is expected to create up to 250 ongoing jobs.

Health minister Greg Hunt previously announced that 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,” he said.

“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."