The world’s largest medicinal cannabis company, Canopy Growth Corporation, will establish its Asia-Pacific headquarters, research and development centre in Victoria, creating more than 200 jobs.
The company will spend $16 million establishing a hub for cultivation and production in Australia, with a long-term view of exporting the product overseas.
Victoria was the first state to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis in 2016, but only for patients in exceptional circumstances, such as children with epilepsy.
The new cultivation and production facility will enable the production of medicinal cannabis for domestic and international patients, positioning Victoria as the southern hemisphere’s export hub for medicinal cannabis.
Hosting the company’s Research and Development Centre in Victoria will further strengthen the research collaboration currently underway between Canopy and Agriculture Victoria and delivering world class results in the cultivation and production of medicinal cannabis.
The Victoria government’s Medical Cannabis Industry Development Strategy sets out a plan to grow Victoria’s emerging medicinal cannabis industry into an established sector.
Highly specialised workforce needed
The strategy aims to have Victoria supplying half of Australia’s medicinal cannabis by 2028, along with the creation of 500 jobs in Victoria.
Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said the new facility would be a big step forward for the state's newest industry.
The company would need a highly specialised workforce with agricultural scientists cultivating the cannabis and chemists refining the product.
"There will be jobs that will be very specialised, very technical, and quite a variety through the types of work that exists within a medicinal cannabis organisation," Ms Pulford said.
"It's a lot more sophisticated than any other kind of growing, the likes of which the government does not condone."