Australian medical cannabis company Cann Group (ASX:CAN) has been awarded a grant under the Victorian Government’s Regional Jobs Fund.
Cann Group is constructing a large-scale medical cannabis cultivation and production facility in Mildura with the potential to create 150 new permanent jobs. The company was last week awarded a grant for up to $1.975 million in connection with the project, with the funding to assist in electricity upgrades at the site.
“Our plans to develop commercial scale production capacity at Mildura are central to the Company’s strategy of being a fully integrated medicinal cannabis company that can service both Australian domestic patients and access valuable overseas markets,” said Cann Group CEO Peter Crock. “This grant is a tangible demonstration of support from the Victorian Government in terms of our objectives.”
Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaclyn Symes said the project aligns directly with the Victorian Government’s Medical Cannabis Industry Development Strategy, which has set the lofty goal of supplying half of Australia’s medicinal cannabis by 2028.
“This is a hugely promising sector, and backing projects like this put Victoria at the forefront of medicine and the creation of a new local industry,” said Minister Symes on Friday.
The project has already supported jobs for 133 locals during construction and is expected to create $191 million for the Mildura region when finished. The facility was originally to be able to produce 70,000kg of dry flower per annum from the get-go, but Cann Group then decided to build in stages. The first stage will be able to produce 12,500kg annually, following by a second stage of the same capability – with the ability to scale up to the 70,000 kilogram production capacity if conditions are suitable.
Mildura is a region well known for agriculture and was chosen by Cann Group because of this and given its sunshine and high light intensity, which are conducive to cultivating cannabis crops.
In November last year, Cann Group stated the first stage commissioning target was to be late 2020 subject to funding and regulatory approvals, licences and permits being issued. A challenge to arise since then is COVID-19 and in April the company indicated this may impact commissioning date.
Established in 2014, Cann Group was the first company to be issued a Cannabis Research Licence by the Australian Government’s Office of Drug Control (ODC), which occurred in February 2017. By the end of July last year, it held all medical cannabis cultivation, production and manufacturing licences necessary under the Australia’s Narcotics Drugs Act.