TAMWORTH will become home to an $8 million medicinal cannabis farm with council approving a massive development application.
Cann Pharmaceuticals is the group behind the project and it hopes to get work under way by the end of this year and have production up and running by late 2019.
Cann chairman Andrew McCrea told The Leader Tamworth was picked as the location for its cannabis farm for its ideal growing climate and because of the support of the city.
He said the project had received local development approvals, as well as licences at state and federal levels.
He wouldn’t divulge how much cannabis would be grown at the farm and said the company was current securing permits regarding the quantity it wished to produce.
“The support from Tamworth council, the support from the mayor, from the general manger has been extraordinary,” Mr McCrea said.
The crop will be grown near Kootingal with plans to manufacture cannabis based oil tinctures and sprays outside the region.
Its products are aimed at managing chronic pain, drug resistant epilepsy, as well as pain associated with palliative care.
While medical marijuana legislation has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, supply and access to pharmaceutical versions of the drug has remained a sticking point for advocates.
Mr McCrea believed the establishment of the Tamworth farm would improve access.
“We believe our development and facility will help Australians and locals get faster access to pharmaceutical grade medicinal cannabis,” he said.
Tamworth cannabis advocate and United in Compassion co-founder Lucy Haslam welcomed the development.
“The campaign began here in Tamworth, so we’re thrilled a company is growing it here,” Mrs Haslam said.
She said the local climate would’ve played a factor in the company setting up in the region.
“We have ideal growing conditions for cannabis,” she said.
“Cannabis likes dry air and a dry, warm climate.”
Mrs Haslam was set to establish a farm on the same site a few years ago, but sold the property choosing to focus on advocacy and education.
Mr McCrea said Cann’s project would be on a “completely different scale”.
“This is an Australian company with a Israeli medicinal cannabis company behind with 10 years of experience on a global scale,” he said.