There’s (finally) movement at the station for Australian medical cannabis company Cannatrek’s ambitious project in the state of Victoria.
Back in 2019, Cannatrek secured planning permission for a major medical cannabis facility in Victoria’s Shepparton region. In 2020, the venture received Major Project Status from the Federal Government; which provides extra support from the Government’s Major Projects Facilitation Agency (MPFA), including help coordinating and facilitating Commonwealth Government approvals.
Construction was to commence in 2020, with production of medicinal cannabis to begin last year. But Major Project Status probably wouldn’t have been much help in relation to the pandemic, which threw multiple spanners into the works for all sorts of projects – and supply chain issues still remain.
But the Benalla Ensign reports Lemnos locals have seen activity at the Cannatrek site, confirmed by CEO Tommy Huppert who said work had commenced on grow tunnels and security related features of the project. The first phase incorporates development of outdoor, indoor and glasshouse facilities, with the glasshouse to take an estimated 12 to 18 months to build.
Civil works commencing would no doubt be a big relief for Cannatrek, which is to not only cultivate cannabis at the facility, but also ultimately produce medicines there. When it does eventually reach full production, the company has previously stated it aims to produce 160 tonnes of medicinal cannabis per year.
Cannatrek is currently growing product at its facility in Queensland. One of the interesting aspects of the Brisbane site is it operates completely pesticide-free. Cannatrek’s integrated pest management strategy brings in beneficial insects such as ladybugs to prevent damage by harmful insects.
“We are redefining the medical cannabis industry in Australia,” says the firm. “By connecting research, cultivation and green technology, we are aiming to be the most affordable cannabis producer in Australia.”
Cannatrek was founded in 2015. By 2017 it had been awarded Australia’s second cannabis research licence and has accumulated more licences since then. Its “seed to patient” model was developed with the goal of Cannatrek becoming entirely self-sufficient within its supply chain.