Planned $180m Toowoomba cannabis facility gets big backing

Updated August 18 2021 - 12:24am, first published August 14 2021 - 10:00pm
The Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport is located just five kilometres from the planned site.

A planned $180m Toowoomba based medicinal cannabis facility is set to go ahead after raising more than $1.3m dollars in just a week.

The company behind the facility, Medibis, said the fundraiser was the first stage of the their six stage project and was to gauge the project's viability.

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The 11 hectare facility will be producing more than one hundred tonnes per annum and employ around 350 local staff when all six stages of development are completed.

The minimum target for the fundraiser was $700,000 which was met just hours after launching.

Australia's medicinal cannabis industry is expected to be worth more than $1.5b dollars by the year 2025.

When complete the "word class" facility will take advantage of Toowoomba's climatic advantages to grow cannabis and enter the competitive and growing market.

Medibis plans to ultimately cultivate, manufacture and distribute a range of products containing cannabis' two major active components, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Low-dose medicinal cannabis is now legal to sell in Australia in chemists without a prescription because of new rules introduced in February.

Medibis co-founder Angus Chapel said the response to first stage has been incredible.

"It's has been fantastic, there's a lot of support from the locals and a lot of support from the public in general," Mr Chapel said.

"It's a world class facility as far as the level of technology and the design, it measures up against the best facilities in the world.

"There's a little bit of an energy advantage there when you talk about having that altitude and less humidity, it's a nice sweet spot for energy consumption which means that we can be more competitive on our costs."

Mr Chapel said that Medibis are beginning research with UQ to further uncover the health benefits of cannabis.

"We're looking at a lot of research with UQ, focussing on animal husbandry and animal welfare," he said.

Mr Chapel said opportunity exists to also move into producing medicinal cannabis products for livestock and pets, which would be undertaken using a different brand.

"We're starting trials soon, one of them is for anxiety and dogs, looking at the benefits of CBD for pets," he said.

"There's also planned research into livestock, looking at immunity and the wellbeing of cattle."

The fundraising program is open until Thursday, 26 August, taking investments from $250 to $10,000.

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