A Canadian company has announced it wants to build a 1 million-square-foot greenhouse operation near Casino to grow medicinal cannabis.
PUF Ventures Inc announced yesterday that it had entered into a purchase option agreement with Richmond Valley Council for a 27-hectare parcel of land on which to construct the $51 million facility.
PUF president Derek Ivany said under the agreement, the council would provide the land for no cost for five years, with an option for the company to purchase the land on ‘favourable terms’ after the fifth year.
Richmond Valley Council general manager Vaughan MacDonald said the council was excited to working with an international company on the project.
‘We are very excited by the prospect of working with an international company like PUF to support the development of this important new industry which will significantly add to our gross regional product, create approximately 300 direct new jobs in our local economy, and lead to other follow-on local and regional employment opportunities,’ Mr Mcdonald said.
‘This locally-supported project will go a long way to meet our commitment to reduce unemployment through economic development and improve the prosperity of our community.
‘We look forward to working closely with PVA to bring this project to reality and working to create a new agricultural industry of medicinal cannabis in our region and across Australia.’
At full scale, the new facility will have the capacity to support annual production of 100,000 kilograms of high quality cannabis, which equates to an associated annual revenue generation potential of between C$800 million and C$1.1 billion.
The company hopes to begin production within 12 months, with the first crop expected to be planted in the fourth quarter of 2018.