Victorian cannabis supporters have something to get excited about this week, as a super-secret project is about to commence in Melbourne’s South East. The secret? A new $50 million medicinal cannabis manufacturing plant about to start construction.
Under Australia’s bizarre licensing laws, the location of the plant cannot be disclosed to the public. However, public attention has quickly followed this story, as the facility will be the largest cannabis manufacturing plant in Australia.
It’s rumoured that the location of the facility will be only made known to the highest officials in government.
The project will be owned and operated by The Valens Company. The Valens Company produces medicinal cannabis and is based in Canada. They are listed on the Toronto stock exchange under VLNS. Australian medicinal cannabis distributor Cannvalate will be managing the new facility.
Measuring 4500sqm, the facility will manufacture a range of cannabis medicines, including tablets, ointments, and soft gel capsules.
As per Australian guidelines, the plant will have extremely strict security, including 24-hour CCTV and double perimeter fences.
Bizarrely, the plant will also have an in-built vault to store completed products in. Resembling the vault of Scrooge McDuck, but with prescription medications instead of money.
While the facility itself is a mystery, it solves a problem very well known to Australians with medicinal cannabis prescriptions. According to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the demand for medicinal cannabis is enormous, with over 27,000 Australians on the Special Access Scheme (SAS).
However, Australian-manufactured medicinal cannabis is in short supply, with Australia importing 95% of their cannabis from Canada and Europe. Although this seems innocent, the high cost of importing cannabis makes medicinal cannabis extremely expensive, with the average patient spending $436 a month on their medication.
Currently, Australia is the fourth largest medical cannabis market in the world, behind Canada, Germany, and the US. However, the demand for medicinal cannabis is expected to grow quickly. As we reported back in April, Australia’s cannabis industry is set to reach $1.5 billion by 2024.
Peter Crock, CEO of the Cann Group believes that between 300,000 and 600,000 Australians will soon be using medicinal cannabis.
Accelerating access for patients is really what everyone’s working towards and this is going to be a significant development in that.
The Cann Group is one of Australia’s largest medicinal cannabis companies, worth over $150 million. According to our ASX cannabis stocks guide, it produces over 50,000kg’s of cannabis a year.
Construction on the Cannvalute and Valens Group facility is due to start in September. The project is expected to take twelve months to complete, with Cannvalute planning on listing on the ASX. Commenting on the new project, Cannvalute’s Chief Executive Dr Sud Ararwal had this to say:
It’s going to be the biggest manufacturing plant in Australia, probably by a factor of at least five times. So it’s going to completely change the dynamic of cannabis extraction and cannabis manufacturing.