The world’s #1 biggest grower of medicinal cannabis, Canopy Growth Corporation, is planning to set up in Victoria as its southern hemisphere headquarters. The move is expected to create over 200 local jobs.
Canopy is set to spend $16 million AUD is creating its hub for cultivation and production in Victoria with long-term goals of exporting products overseas. In 2016 Victoria was the first Australian state to legalise medicinal cannabis but only for children with epilepsy and other exceptional circumstances where cannabis was shown to have dramatically positive effects.
Jaala Pulford, Victoria’s Agriculture Minister, was proud of this move as it was a large move forward for Victoria’s newest industry. She said that the reasons for doing this were “rooted in our desire to provide compassion and support”.
She also said they were “very enthusiastically” creating a foothold for this new industry within Australia as it will also create jobs. She stated that the company was going to need a highly specialised staff makeup of chemists and agricultural scientists.
She elaborated that there would be many specialised job that offer a wide variety of roles for differently qualified people. Referencing what she referred to as the “medical cannabis plant”, Ms Pulford said that they would need to work very precisely to make a product that meets the high standards of Australian medical professionals.
She also said that this type of growing would be “a lot more sophisticated” than the kind that is not condoned by the Federal Government.
Canopy Growth may be the biggest name to enter the Victorian scene but it will also be producing medicinal cannabis alongside the Government another unnamed commercial grower.
In 2017 the Victorian Government announced a medical marijuana strategy that seeks for Victoria to be supplying 50% of all medicinal cannabis as of 2028. Canopy Growth already appears to be preparing for the eventual legalisation of recreational marijuana, such as the strategy suggested recently by the Greens, having taken out Australian patents for both its recreational and medicinal products.
The current push towards legal use of marijuana in Australia has come after several US states fully decriminalised the drug without any major rises in crime or drug addiction. Despite the evidence, several entrenched nuggets of resistance exist within the medical industry and politics that have raised doubts about legalising the drug beyond absolutely necessary medical use.
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