In the Australian state of Victoria, Canadian medicinal cannabis company MediPharm Labs has opened the initial phases of its specialised extraction facility in Wonthaggi.
MediPharm Labs’ facility, which will be capable of processing up to 75 tonnes of cannabis into resin annually, will work in partnership with more than 50 growers across the country, with 30 of those from Victoria.
“Building this state-of-the-art facility is a tremendous achievement for MediPharm Labs,” said MediPharm Labs Asia Pacific CEO Warren Everitt. “We are thankful for the strong support from traditional land owners, government and from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.”
Development has been quite rapid – the company broke ground on the 10,000 sq.ft. (929 sq. m.) facility in June last year. Among its features are supercritical CO2 extraction equipment, clean rooms and testing laboratories.
The company also announced last week it has received the state licences necessary to store, test and supply cannabis for research purposes at the facility from Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services, and expects the final stage of regulatory approvals in the first half of next year.
The opening was attended by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who said the facility will create more employment for the region and provide more people access to medicines.
“No one should have to choose between watching their children suffer and breaking the law – that’s why we legalised access to medicinal cannabis and why we’re backing a local industry right here in Victoria”.
While Victoria may have been the first state in Australia to legalise access to medicinal cannabis, it’s still not easy to access more than three years on. Recently, Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos announced the Andrews Labor Government’s compassionate access scheme for children with intractable epilepsy would be increased – to just 90 places.
In other recent medical cannabis news out of Victoria, last week Australia’s Morrison Government announced it was granting another Canadian company, Canopy Growth, Major Project Status for its medical cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution center in Pakenham that is expected to generate up to 250 ongoing jobs.