Tasmanian Alkaloids Officially Opens $10 Million Medicinal Cannabis Facility

The facility is already operational, and is expected to generate nine million bottles of cannabidiol each year.

There was big news from Tasmanian Alkaloids—which produces the majority of the world's supply of opioid poppies—earlier this month, after the Australian biopharma cultivator announced that it had officially opened its new medicinal cannabis facility in Westbury.

The construction of the facility was funded in part by a $10 million loan from the state government to assist the company's planned expansion into the central north Tasmanian region.

Tasmania is now firmly and squarely on the map as the place where the product can be grown research and development undertaken extracted and ultimately taken directly to market with 9 million doses available each year through their production. Today's announcement once again reinforces that Tasmania is open for business, and it will further enhance our international reputation for advanced manufacturing. Tasmanian Minister for State Growth, Michael Ferguson

The new site is already in operation—having displayed a processing capacity of 90 tonnes of raw marijuana biomass per year—and will be capable of handling the cultivation, extraction and bottling of medicinal cannabis products.

The opening of the facility has been three years in the making for Tasmanian Alkaloids, and the company expects to see nine million bottles of cannabidiol produced every twelve months.

"It's a very exciting day for the 140 employees on-site, and it continues a strong tradition of innovation and is very synergistic with our existing opioid business," Tasmanian Alkaloids executive general manager Colin Ralph said.

"The marketing and research data we have compiled showed that at the beginning of last year there were about 1500 registered patients and by the end of last year that grew to around 10,000 patients."

According to Ralph market forecasting data has indicated that there is already strong demand for their product locally—although the company does have plans to export internationally once borders reopen—while patient numbers are expected to reach 30,000 before the end of the year.

However, none of this would have been possible without the support of Tasmania's Minister for State Growth, Michael Ferguson, who has become a champion of the local cannabis industry.

Ferguson claims that Tasmania's medicinal cannabis program is superior to systems in place in other states, as it subsidizes patient costs to a much more significant extent.

"GPs in Tasmania, through their medical college and also through the AMA, don't want that approach, they want the specialist to be the compassionate and the expert provider of that health care," Ferguson said.

"This new venture is a clever move with the growing demand for medical grade cannabinoids in treating conditions where conventional treatments have failed. Tasmanian Alkaloids now directly employs 140 staff and provides significant supply chain benefits for numerous Tasmanian farms and businesses."

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Hugo Gray
Hugo Gray

Hugo Gray is a Melbourne-based journalist with a body of work that covers a diverse range of topics, including immigration law, sex technology, and now the rapidly expanding cannabis industry.

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