Cannabis farms top secret

The location of the latest medical cannabis farm in Queensland remains a government secret, despite other local media reporting this month it was rumoured to be located in the Southern Downs Regional Council area.

Cannatrek Pty Ltd has announced it has commenced growing medical cannabis at an undisclosed Queensland location, in addition to its existing operation in Victoria.

The Federal Department of Health told the Free Times it cannot disclose the location of medical cannabis farms due to security restrictions, but does publish the names of “some” licence holders on its Office of Drug Control website, with the consent of the operator.

Cannatrek Pty Ltd is listed on the Office of Drug Control website as both a ‘Cannabis Cultivation and Production’ licence holder and as a licensed importer of cannabis materials.

It is understood up to five tonnes of medicinal cannabis will be grown inside the 3200sqm climate-controlled greenhouse in Queensland, which will support 10 full-time jobs plus seasonal workers.

Last month Medifarm opened Queensland’s first medicinal cannabis facility at another top-secret location in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Cannatrek Research and Compliance director Emily Rigby has told the media the “rapid expansion” of the cannabis industry came as health professionals “slowly recognised its benefits”.

“The cannabis plant is unique in the plant kingdom with more than 100 different active compounds, and each one or a combination of, can affect a different medical issue,” she said.

Ms Rigby said Cannatrek would use its new Queensland facility to produce unique varieties to treat patients.

“We are currently developing clinical trial protocols to assess medicinal cannabis for the treatment of mental illness,” she said.

“For too long, Australians have had to import medicinal cannabis, which is very expensive.

The Morrison Government is strongly back the medicinal cannabis sector with Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt saying the government wants “a robust Australian medical cannabis industry to ensure a safe, quality supply of medicinal cannabis is accessible to Australian patients, when prescribed by a medical professional”.

“The Morrison Government continues to make it easier for doctors to access medicinal cannabis products more rapidly, while maintaining strict safeguards for individual and community safety,” Mr Hunt said.

“Doctors can apply under the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Special Access Scheme Category B, or via an Authorised Prescriber (AP) Scheme to legally prescribe medicinal cannabis products.

“The Special Access Scheme (SAS) online system allows prescribers in Queensland to submit their applications on behalf of patients in a single online application, which are processed within 2 working days.

“As of 31 July 2019, over 11,000 approvals now been given under SAS in Australia for medicinal cannabis products. Over 8,500 patients have been authorised to access a medicinal cannabis product through the Special Access and Authorised Prescriber Schemes. Approximately one-third of these approvals have been granted for patients in Queensland.”

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