The proponent of a medicinal cannabis production facility near Casino, which launched its plans with fanfare in 2017, says it will continue despite the loss of its venture partner.
Richmond Valley Council (RVC) says it and Australian-owned SANA Nutraceuticals are ‘working hard to establish a medicinal cannabis facility’ in the area despite the withdrawal of Canadian companies Agraflora Organics International (formerly PUF Ventures Inc) and MYM Nutraceuticals last year.
Michael Horsfall, the founder and CEO of Australian based group SANA retains a memorandum of understanding with the Council.
Mr Horsfall said following the ‘amicable split’ SANA was’ ready to move forward with its project’.
Mr Horsfall, formerly the Australian CEO of PUF, said he was ‘overwhelmed by the support his company had received from all levels of government, in particular Richmond Valley Council’.
It’s touted to become the ‘largest medical cannabis facility in the southern hemisphere’: SANA plans to have 11 hectares of greenhouses producing more than 100,000 kilograms of high-quality cannabis with an estimated return of $800 million to $1.1 billion.
Mr Horsfall said, ‘SANA expects to create at least 300 direct and indirect jobs in the Northern Rivers region from its medicinal cannabis greenhouse project’.
He said this would ‘provide a significant boost to the local economy, provide education, training and additional pathways and opportunities for people and other businesses in the region’.
‘SANA’s state-of-the-art greenhouse facility will be the largest growing, manufacturing, processing and research facility in Australia,’ Mr Horsfall said.
‘This is an innovative project which will help patients, create jobs, undertake research and develop new products in the medical cannabis field.’
RVC General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said Council was ‘excited by the prospect of working with SANA Nutraceuticals to support the development of this important new industry’.
Mr Macdonald said the proposed medicinal cannabis project would ‘go a long way to meeting Council’s commitment to reduce unemployment through economic development, and improve the prosperity of our community’.
He said if approved, the project would be ‘a game changer for the Richmond Valley and the wider Northern Rivers region’.
The company is currently in the assessment stage for three licenses with the federal government’s Office of Drug Control in Canberra.