There was more good news for Tasmania yesterday after ECS Botanics announced the development of a A$2.9m outdoor medicinal cannabis project at its wholly owned site in the northern part of the state.

The three-stage Medicinal Cannabis Project will give it the ability to grow up to 32,500kg of dry flower each year on 325,000 square meters of land.

In year one, ECS will grow medicinal CBD plants before broadening out to cultivate THC plants from year two onwards.

The company aims to have the facility built and approved by the Office of Drug Control in time for the December 2020 planting window.

Stage one will see the majority of the infrastructure built at a cost of $1.7m, funded by a recent capital raising and existing revenues. ECS is exploring options to fund stages two and three including a further capital raise and government grants.

“We are applying our skills in growing cannabis with a vision of where the industry is headed.”

ECS Botanics managing director Alex Keach

The news comes a day after Tasmanian Alkaloid officially opened its new medical grade cannabinoids operation in Westbury.

ECS Botanics managing director Alex Keach said outdoor growing would make medicinal cannabis more affordable for patients and represented the future for the Australian industry.

He added: “We know the plant thrives in its natural environment. Tasmania has leant a lot in cultivating pharmaceutical ingredients outdoors and in the extraction of these plants. Applying a similar framework to the medicinal cannabis industry is the most practical way to lower the cost of production and make patient access affordable.

“We believe the power prices and cost of labour in Australia are restrictive to the business case of growing indoor long term, so we are applying our skills in growing cannabis with a vision of where the industry is headed.”