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Making Australia an international leader in medicinal cannabis

2 December 2019

Joint media release with the Minister for Health the Hon Greg Hunt MP

The Morrison Government is maximising the economic potential of Australia’s medicinal cannabis industry, with Major Project Status granted for the development of new facilities in South East Queensland and regional Victoria.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the medicinal cannabis industry can boost exports and create jobs, with the potential to grow to a $1.2 billion industry over the next 10 years.

“Australia’s trusted reputation for medical products combined with our top quality agriculture sector will propel this new domestic industry into the global market,” Minister Andrews said.

“By acting now and fast-tracking medicinal cannabis facilities, we have an opportunity to create an entirely new industry with tremendous export potential.

“This is exactly what Major Project Status is designed for. By fast-tracking nationally significant projects, we can boost our economic growth and create new jobs, including in regional areas.”

Major Project Status has been granted to Hydroganics for a multi-stage $333 million medicinal cannabis facility in South East Queensland and Canopy Growth for a $70 million facility in regional Victoria.

In addition to creating 140 ongoing jobs, at full production Hydroganics is expected to produce an estimated turnover of $366 million. 90 per cent of the turnover will be generated from exporting overseas.

Canopy Growth will establish its Asia Pacific headquarters and vertically integrated cultivation, manufacturing and distribution operations in Victoria which is expected to create up to 250 ongoing jobs.

The granting of Major Project Status recognises the national significance of these projects, their contribution to economic growth, employment and to boosting opportunities for regional Australia.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt announced in August that medicinal cannabis licence applications for projects granted Major Project Status were being prioritised within the Office of Drug Control’s licencing process.

“This demonstrates the Morrison Government’s commitment to helping people living with chronic or terminal illnesses,” Minister Hunt said.

“The medical community is increasingly recognising the value of medicinal cannabis. As the world’s doctors look to these new treatments for their patients, Australia is well placed to become a source of trusted medicinal cannabis products.”

Major Project Status is the Commonwealth Government’s recognition of the strategic significance of a project to Australia. It provides companies with extra support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, including a single entry point for Commonwealth Government approvals, project support and coordination, and help with state and territory approvals.

For more information on the Major Projects Facilitation Agency and the full list of current major projects, visit www.mpaa.gov.au.

Media contacts:

Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070

Minister Hunt's office 02 6277 7220