$500m to build world's biggest cannabis farm
THE Canadian company planning to build the world's biggest medicinal cannabis farm in Toowoomba's backyard is projecting a massive figure for the jobs it could bring to the region.
Speaking on the back of a story published by The Chronicle detailing Vancouver-based Asterion's $10 million Wellcamp land purchase, one of the company's executives spruiked the huge economic impact the 75-hectare project could have on Toowoomba.
"There's a lot of jobs at stake here - we're looking at between 1200 and 1400," Asterion president and director Paget Hargeaves said.
"It could be an exciting new job and career for many."
Mr Hargeaves said the company would spend about $450 million to $500 million just to construct the sprawling renewable energy-powered facility over the course of three years.
Located not far from the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, it is understood the 500,000kg of cannabis a year it plans to produce will be exported to North America and Europe, though the company has not ruled out selling to the Australian market in the future.
"We looked at 30 to 40 sites over the last year and did our due diligence on many locations in south east Queensland," Mr Hargeaves said.
"We landed at Wellcamp, and I've known of the Wagners and have a lot of respect for them and what they've done.
"This is the dawn of the era of challenging things, of shaking the tree and different thinking."
In December, Asterion officially applied to the Federal Government's Office of Drug Control for a number of licences to produce medicinal cannabis tablets, capsules, oral wafers, patches, creams, oral sprays and topical soluble gels from the facility.