Armidale’s first cannabis farm is one step closer to planting the first seeds after Australian Natural Therapeutic Group owners gave their German partners Cannamedical Pharma a tour of the facility on Thursday.
The state-of-the-art growing centre will eventually employ 30 staff full time, and while Australian based research is at the core of their business, ANTG have signed a ten year contract to supply flower to the European market, which is estimated to be worth $88 billion by 2028.
ANTG CEO Matt Cantello said that 2019 is shaping up to be a big year for research results in Australia, which he believes will help drive acceptance.
“We will start by growing plants with high CBD levels, and then introduce high THC species, as well as crosses,” he said.
“Research feeds into everything we do, and we feel the Therapeutic Goods Administration are making moves that will open the Australian market up and improve levels of access.”
Like Australia, Germany legalised medicinal use over two years ago, although unlike Australia the Europeans have much better and easier pathways to access.
“Germany is the largest market in the world and are experiencing 40 per cent month on month growth,” Mr Cantello said.
“There is no doubt that Australia will have a market, but it won’t be as large.
“However Australia is the ideal place to cultivate cannabis, and create a centre of excellence to drive research and world best practices.
“Armidale is great because the climate is perfect and we are slightly elevated.”
The Armidale facility hopes to have first plants in the ground by the end of April.