Australian Natural Therapeutics Group (ANTG) has announced a merger with Canadian Asterion Cannabis and its wholly-owned subsidiary Asterion (Australia), with the companies joining forces to develop one of the largest renewable-powered medicinal cannabis growing, manufacturing and R&D facilities in the world.

Construction on the A$400 million facility in the Darling Downs, near Toowoomba, is scheduled to begin in the next few months, with the 75 hectare facility set to produce more than 500,000kg of medicinal cannabis a year and create 1,000 regional jobs.

ANTG CEO Matt Cantelo said the agreement represents a “golden opportunity” for Australia to reach its full potential in growing and cultivating medicinal cannabis, serving the domestic and export markets and becoming the global leader in medicinal cannabis production.

ANTG CEO Matt Cantelo

Cantelo, who earlier this year signed a $92 million, nine-year deal with German company Cannamedical Pharma to export commercially-grown Australian medical cannabis flowers to Europe, added: “We have the gold standard in regulatory framework, depth of research and climate for growing excellent produce – but what we haven’t had to date is the option of scale.”

“This has meant we could mostly meet the demand to the general market, but in the coming years we see demand will absolutely outstrip supply.”

“Through this new partnership we will be able to expand our range to meet the growing number of conditions being prescribed by doctors.”

Asterion CEO Stephen Van Deventer said: “The merger of Asterion and ANTG fits in with both companies’ short and long-term strategies. This provides early revenue for Asterion and scalability to ANTG. We are extremely excited with this merger as both companies have the same vision, priorities and mindset.”

The first 10 hectare glasshouse and manufacturing facility is due to be operational by the end of next year, with two more 10 and 20 hectare glasshouses planned after that.

Well-situated in close proximity to Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport, the facility will have easy access to international routes and markets.

A partially binding agreement Letter of Intent has been signed by both parties.