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Byron Shire
January 18, 2022

Government commits $2.5m towards growing cannabis

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Inspecting the facilities at Southern Cross University: Michael Horsfall (left), co-founder and CEO of Solaris Nutraceuticals, David Parry, co-founder and director of Solaris Nutraceuticals, Ashley Dowell, manager of the University’s Analytical Reseach Laboratory, Pro Vice Chancellor of Engagement Ben Roche, Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker and Vaughan Macdonald, general manager of Richmond Valley Council. Photo supplied.

Exploring the benefits of medicinal cannabis underpins the newly established relationship between Southern Cross University and Solaris Nutraceuticals (formerly known as PUF Ventures Australia) who are establishing a new medicinal cannabis plant at Casino.

The University’s Lismore campus is equipped with high-security research laboratories where researchers work with the world’s most diverse collection of cannabis seed and has already established an international reputation for botanical research.

The agreements between Southern Cross University and Solaris Nutraceuticals commit to the development of hemp and medicinal cannabis products in the NSW northern rivers region that will enhance animal and human health according to SCU vice-chancellor professor Adam Shoemaker.

‘This agreement is a great example of Southern Cross University’s commitment to engaging with industry and the community, so that we can create an environment for discovery and commercial development, driving changes in our backyard that can translate into benefits around the world,’  said Professor Shoemaker.

In early February the project received grant funding of $2.5m from the Australian government as part of the regional jobs investment packages program (RJIP), a grant initiative that was made available by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. 

‘This is an exciting opportunity not just for Solaris Nutraceuticals, but also for the northern rivers region,’ said CEO of Solaris Nutraceuticals, Michael Horsfall.

‘The project will deliver around 300 direct jobs and make a significant impact to the local economy and raise the socio-economic profile of the northern rivers region.

‘Solaris Nutraceuticals will work with the University to identify opportunities to improve the properties and quality of medicines that can be derived from cannabis.’

Echonetdaily has contacted Southern Cross University to ask how they are looking at engaging with their highly experienced local community of growers who have been working towards the legalisation of medicinal cannabis for many years.

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  1. While drug authorities step up prosecution of home grown experts the government are busy giving away 2.5 million to overseas investors of strange pedigree. Solaris Nutraceuticals is a spin off of Canadian PUF Ventures. According to their website https://www.puf.ca/#investors the investors directors are:

    DEREK IVANY President & CEO who has a background in oil gas and mining, including uranium. He has his own mining operations and is also a real estate mogul and the owner of several financial data and fantasy sports analysis platforms.

    JERRY HABUDA Director has over 35 years of expertise in law enforcement and specialized units. He was assigned to patrol the Toronto Community Housing projects at Jane/Finch to control drug trafficking and gun violence. From 1993-1997, he was assigned to the Northwest Drug Squad on undercover and surveillance work, executing narcotic search warrants. Between 2002 and 2004, Mr. Habuda headed the Street Violence Task Force, a special unit designed to curb gun and drug violence that was terrorizing the city at the time.

    CHRIS HORNUNG Director is a leading designer, distributor and manufacturer of contract office furniture with distribution throughout North America. In addition, Mr. Hornung is a partner in and is responsible for several different real estate holding companies.

    JOE PERINO Director has a thirty year career with the Toronto Police Service began in 1976. During his time as a member of the Service, Joe worked in varipous roles including Drug Investigator. A skilled drug investigator, Joe attained the status of expert witness.

    CHRIS CHERRY CFO has held senior-level positions for several public mining companies, including director, chief financial officer and secretary.

    While the North Coast has low employment rates and the government invests million busting growers, Narcs, Miners and Real Estate moguls from Canada get more government millions to move in on a lucrative new market using a local base. Makes you wonder how these things come about? Perhaps it is the expertise in office furniture that clinched it!

  2. No dispensaries in Oz, and only available for a few close to death with no way out, with all control given to BIG pHARMa who oppose the use of developed whole strains so they can profit better from their concocted killer products!
    We note that when California started medical use 22 years ago, they opened hundreds of dispensaries without any BP control. Now, as Canada is about to do, they have gone full legal for all use, including home grown not for sale. The Calif population is about double Oz.

    Where this beneficial plant has been made fully legal BP have had big profit losses, especially the opiates, and they prefer synthetic and part components, not whole plant synergy, for less work and more profits. They oppose whole plant use. Thats like taking a big gear or two out of a watch, do synthetic copies, throw that in a petri dish, and say keep ticking. Or like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. Just nuts!

    The dispensary labs, such as Steep HIll,backing the world’s largest dispensary, Harborside, in Oakland and San Jose, and Hawaii, have had over 70 targeted use whole strains for at least 15 years, with great results that BP are years behind.

    This Casino grow is an attempt for export profits, with little use for people in Oz, a very cynical slap on so many enduring useless suffering, and death for BP profits only, here in Oz.
    The entire team that will do the Casino grow have a clear record of blocking, not using this plant, or come from another field that has nothing to do with it..furniture! Thanks to Neal!

    And anyone driving with traces in their system, without probable cause, warrant, or impairment, can be arrested, fined, lose drivers license, and be permanently targeted. This is the only country on planet with such blatant injustice.

    Only a few near death, after doing absurd long paperwork, have been given access. Thats far from legal, opposite what Hunt says. The ignorant in Oz, doctors and govt, seem to think nothing is known and a lot of research has to be done before allowing legal use..ignoring a huge amount of research done overseas in several places, over many years already!

    About time the Oz govt went beyond ignorance and bought offs, and made all use of this sacred plant completely legal through dispensaries without BP in the mix at all. That will save many lives, to be uplifted with a range of benefits, and to end useless suffering and death for BP profits. Duh.

  3. Living with chronic pain from injuries sustained at work in a violent assault by 2 Youth in Care.

    How do I join the trial as a participant?

    Tired of being a second grade Grandma due to chronic & constant pain

  4. Australian laws in regard to prohibition of marajuana are bullshit. What a waste of tax payers money and i pay plenty of it … this country …has been sold out to overseas investors for a very long time .. basically it comes down to money … greedy [people] sitting in Canberra sipping their double decaf lattes hoping they don’t get too fat .. . I was a palliative care nurse for a long time and i have seen too many suffer painful and traumatic deaths thanks to bureaucratic nonsense.. wake up Australia and stand up for what you really believe.

    LEGALISE IT !!!!


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