100 JOBS: New Lismore cannabis facility given green light
AMID a rush among several Northern Rivers council areas to be the first to establish a medicinal cannabis facility, Lismore has swooped in and announced a mammoth operation has been given the green light.
Up to 100 new local jobs will be created at a multi-million dollar medicinal cannabis operation in the Lismore Local Government area, and construction is already under way.
Lismore City Council has worked with Australian company Cannapacific over the past 12 months to bring it to fruition.
"(Council) has been guiding the company through the approval process to establish a modern medicinal cannabis cultivation and research facility in the Northern Rivers," a council spokesman said.
It is the only licenced medicinal cannabis facility in the region and one of the first in the country.
Lismore's Deputy Mayor Darlene Cook said Stage 1 of the development, which is about to go into production, will create an immediate economic boost to the local economy.
"This is a huge facility that will create much-needed economic activity and jobs for our community," she said.
Stage 1 of the facility includes a 10,000 square metre high-tech glasshouse with fully-automated climate control to allow year-round production.
It is estimated the site will produce approximately 10,000 kilograms of quality cannabis flower annually.
CannaPacific Operations Manager Tim Ritchie said Stage 1 construction was nearing completion and it expects to commence cultivation by mid-2020.
"With supply agreements in place in both domestic and international markets, we are well-positioned to create a sustainable local industry," he said.
The facility will also serve as an advanced Cannabis Plant Research and Development Unit in collaboration with the University of Newcastle.
Ms Cook said it was a "very significant investment".
"I would like to congratulate council staff and local tradespeople who worked with the company to set-up this facility in our community," she said.
"It not only shows that Lismore is open for business but also that we can attract new industries to the area."
CannaPacific is a Government Licenced Australian medical Cannabis company based in Newcastle and the Macleay Valley on the mid-north coast of NSW.
"Our elite botanical and pharmacology team is already leading the way in plant science and Cannabis research, with new developments in plant technology," the CannaPacific website says.
CannaPacific currently has products on the market for prescription available through the Department of Health Special Access Scheme.
Sperate medicinal cannabis facilities are also flagged for Richmond Valley, Byron Shire and Ballina Shire areas, but no licensing has been approved.