A MEDICINAL cannabis facility near Mildura, dubbed the “most technologically advanced” in Australia, has finished construction and had a key permit granted, paving the way for cultivation to start.
ASX-listed Cann Group, the company behind the project, said the site’s first commercial crop was expected to be harvested by June.
The company told investors this week while final fit-out and commissioning activity would continue, the facility had reached the practical completion stage, with the builders handing over and an occupancy certificate issued.
Cann said the Office of Drug Control (ODC) had also granted the necessary permit to allow commercial cultivation activities to start.
A separate permit covering the manufacture of medicinal cannabis products was expected to be issued in the “near future”.
“With the issuing of the ODC permit, Cann is now preparing to transfer medicinal cannabis plants from Cann’s Southern facility (in Melbourne) to Mildura to establish starting genetics,” the company said in a statement.
The company described the Mildura facility as “the most technologically advanced, large-scale medicinal cannabis cultivation and production facility in Australia”.
Cann CEO Peter Crock said the construction completion and transition into commercial production activity marked a major milestone.
“Along with the granting of ODC permits, it represents a tremendous achievement on the part of our project development and regulatory teams,” Mr Crock said.
“Our investment in new technology and scale will generate important benefits, including cost efficiencies that will help make Cann globally competitive.
“As we ramp up commercial production, we will expand our market development activities with the aim of quickly growing our customer and revenue base, capitalising on the scale, cost and quality benefits that Mildura provides.”
The cost of the first stage was slated to be $112 million, with Cann previously forecasting it would create 130 new jobs once commissioned.
Melbourne-based Cann was established in 2014 and its Mildura project was announced in March 2019.
The facility’s cultivation area incorporates a closed system micro climate-controlled glasshouse to optimise plant growth cycles and multiple integrated automation systems, including:
• Automated climate control providing heating and cooling systems to balance temperature, air flow and humidity
• A mobile table system ensuring plants are in the best position for climate, irrigation, light and growth at all stages in the growth cycle
• State-of-the-art lighting technology
• Automated screening system with up to 99.9 per cent effective blackout to maximise crop cycles, energy savings and provide plant protection
• Multiple-stage water filtration, irrigation and nutrient delivery system featuring full recirculation and cultivar-specific feeding