Three years after first acquiring the site in Mildura in Victoria, Australian medicinal cannabis company Cann Group (ASX: CAN) has been given permission to cultivate the drug at the now-completed, high-tech facility.
The Office of Drug Control (ODC) has today granted Cann Group (ASX: CAN) the necessary permit to allow commercial cultivation of medicinal cannabis to commence at its new digs in Mildura, which have been under constructions for quite some time, delayed by COVID-19 outbreaks and a reliance on imported expertise from European specialists.
The company, which was the first in Australia to receive medical cannabis production and research licenses, raised more than $60 million from investors alongside a $50 million loan from National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) to get the $130 million Mildura greenhouse over the line.
Today, the Mildura facility has reached the practical completion stage, with just final fit-out and commissioning activity to still be finished in some areas. The first stage of the facility will deliver annual dry flower capacity of 12,500kg with plans to expand this to 50,000kg, making it the largest cannabinoid medicine production facility in Australia.
The newly issued permit lets Cann cultivate and produce medicinal cannabis products and conduct research in relation to the drug. Cann hopes a separate permit covering manufacturing of products at the Mildura facility will be issued in the near future.
As such, Cann says it is preparing to transfer medicinal cannabis plants to Mildura, and expects the first commercial crop to be harvested by June this year.
The listed company, which has seen a rise in its share price on the back of today’s news, says the facility in Mildura is its most technologically advanced yet. It incorporates a closed system micro climate-controlled glasshouse to optimise plant growth cycles and other integrated automation systems including:
- automated climate control providing heating and cooling systems to balance temperature, airflow and humidity;
- a mobile table system ensuring plants are in the best position for climate, irrigation, light and growth at all stages in the growth cycle;
- state-of-the-art lighting technology;
- automated screening system with up to 99.9 per cent effective blackout to maximise crop
- cycles, energy savings and provide plant protection;
- multiple-stage water filtration, irrigation and nutrient delivery system featuring full recirculation and cultivar-specific feeding.
“The completion of works in the cultivation areas and our transition into commercial production activity is a major milestone for Cann,” Cann CEO Peter Crock said.
“Along with the granting of the ODC permits, it represents a tremendous achievement on the part of our project development and regulatory teams. Our investment in new technology and scale will generate important benefits, including cost efficiencies that will help make Cann globally competitive.
“As we ramp up commercial production, we will expand our market development activities with the aim of quickly growing our customer and revenue base, capitalising on the scale, cost and quality benefits that Mildura provides.”
Shares in Cann are up 4.35 per cent to $0.24 per share at 11.02am AEDT.
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