Medical Cannabis Cultivation Plans For Victoria’s Heathcote

Medical cannabis cultivation in Heathcote
Image: Wild0ne

A Melbourne security firm is looking to establish a medicinal cannabis cultivation operation outside of Bendigo, in central Victoria.

This project has been in the pipeline for some time, with the cover letter for the application dated December 2019. At that point, applicant JLSL Risk Mitigation understandably wanted the “utmost confidentiality” for pretty obvious reasons, such as security risks associated with making the location known.

However, it has now become public knowledge with Bendigo Council making the application and supporting documents available online.

Being in the security game, JLSL would know a thing or two about keeping such a project secure. In comments published in the Bendigo Advertiser last week, CFO, consultant and co-applicant Jeffrey Leahy said the application pays special detail to this aspect and noted all the company’s employees are licenced security guards.

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JLSL Risk Mitigation has applied for a Federal Cannabis Licence to produce and cultivate medicinal cannabis and says it already has State and Federal licences for distribution under its belt.

Its plans for the 6.367 ha block in Heathcote (around 45km from Bendigo) include a growing facility for medicinal cannabis and low-THC cannabis (hemp) farming activities. A single dwelling and large shed would be built, with the shed 20m x 45m x 6m.

The cover letter for the application notes:

“JLSL’s purpose and objective of conducting cannabis farming on the land meets the principle objective of utilising the land for agricultural use and to ensure that the agricultural use is productive … JLSL also believes that the growing of cannabis will assist in providing sustainable land management practices which ensures that soil is protected via sustainable cropping.”

Mr Leahy’s intention is to cultivate cannabis that will be used to manufacture organic whole plant extract, something he says Australian patients have challenges in sourcing.

While it’s not clear how things are going with Council in terms of the application, the Victoria Government has thrown its weight behind the sector. Through the Victorian Medicinal Cannabis Industry Development Plan launched in 2018, it aims to create a local medicinal cannabis industry that can supply half of Australia’s market by 2028.