ECS Botanics unveils plans for major cannabis growing project

ECS Botanics unveils plans for major cannabis growing project

ECS Botanics (ASX: ECS) has outlined plans for a medicinal cannabis growing project that will generate an estimated 32,500kg of dry flower per annum once complete.

Expected to cost close to $3 million, the outdoor growing facility in northern Tasmania is forecast to become one of the largest medicinal cannabis productions by area in Australia.

With a cool climate and high amounts of UV, ECS says the location will enable production of premium quality cannabis crops at a low cost.

The Perth-registered company expects to grow small quantities of medicinal cannabis plants as soon as construction begins, but THC crops will also be grown at an outdoor facility under Stage 2 of the project. 

"As well as cultivating medicinal cannabis, ECS will take an industrious approach to the processing steps, using machinery for drying and bucking (separating buds from the plant stem)," says ECS.

The company expects to have the facility built and permitted in time for the December 2020 planting window.

ECS says it is fully funded for Stage 1 following recent capital raising activities, while future stages 2 and 3 will require a combination of other capital sources.

The group still requires its cultivation licence to be varied and approved by the Office of Drug Control for the project to be green-lit.

Despite that hurdle the company is already fast-tracking what work it can, with early stage site works having already commenced and parts of the build expected to start in the next two weeks.

"ECS is taking a next generation approach to medicinal cannabis," says ECS managing director Alex Keach.

"We know the plant thrives in its natural environment and we see how the regulatory industry, market environment and cultivation practices are evolving overseas.

"Tasmania has learnt a lot in cultivating pharmaceutical ingredients outdoors and also in the extraction of these plants."

Shares in ECS are down 8.7 per cent to $0.021 per share at 1:38pm AEST.

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