Construction of Cannatrek’s long-awaited facility at Shepparton in rural Victoria is to begin imminently after the company received a A$700,000 grant from the state government.

The first phase will see the construction of a 1.5-hectare glasshouse and indoor grow area, together with outdoor parts of the facility, with capacity to produce between five and 10 tonnes of dried flower annually. More than 70 local jobs will be created, Cannatrek said.

The multi-million dollar project has the potential to expand to a 16-hectare glasshouse that includes an indoor grow and post-harvest facility.

The company first unveiled its plan to develop a 16-hectare plant in August 2019.

Minister for regional development Mary-Anne Thomas said today that Cannatrek will receive a grant of $700,000 over the next three years under the Regional Jobs Fund.

Up to 400 jobs will be created when the facility is fully operational.

“This project will contribute to our country’s cutting edge medicinal cannabis industry, while growing jobs right here in regional Victoria,” the minister said.

Cannatrek CEO Tommy Huppert added: “This project utilises skill sets from local trade and suppliers to expert growers.  A strong partnership with the local community is essential to us, and we want to provide opportunities for meaningful employment.”  

Cannatrek will use cloned plants from the company’s perpetual harvest facility in Queensland, which conducts in-house breeding research, to “ensure the control of the supply chain of genetics”.

It will bring the project into “immediate commercial production upon completion”, the company said in a statement.

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...