THC Global has finally opened its Southport Facility, which has been dubbed the largest bio-pharma manufacturing facility in the Southern Hemisphere.
THC Global Group Limited's (ASX:THC) new Southport Facility was opened by the Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, after he undertook a tour of the site earlier that day.
The company has confirmed that the Southport Facility will have an expected initial annual production capacity of 12,000kg of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) isolates, or equivalent quantities of full- spectrum and broad-spectrum extracts.
This is a big win for THC Global investors, as the Facility's impressive capacity will allow the company to meet both local Australian demand, while still being able to commence major exportation in overseas markets.
Once the extracts and isolates have been harvested, THC Global expects to process them into finished medicinal products such as oils, tinctures, and capsules.
Now that the facility has officially been opened, the company has confirmed that it will begin the product validation process by the end of 2019, with its first commercial production expected to commence in early 2020.
The Southport Facility will also allow THC Global to remain "highly competitive" in the Australian and global cannabis markets, due to the low cost of production from its Farm to Pharma integrated production.
The launch of THC's Southport Facility also has significant upsides for local patients, as the company has claimed that it is focused on reducing the cost of medicinal cannabis for Australians in 2020.
"THC Global is in prime position with its primary cultivation, processing, and manufacturing assets of commercial-scale secured and ready to commence operating at low cost, a spokesperson said.
"[This will enable] access to Australian patients at a better price, and [make] Australia a prime exporter of medicinal cannabis products of the highest safety and quality standards."
"THC Global will be making high quality medicinal cannabis more accessible to Australian patients in need, both in terms of heavily reduced cost as well as increases in available supply. We also expect to support clinical trials and study trials in Australia, which are currently almost exclusively serviced by expensive imported products. We look forward to commencing commercial production at the most significant medicinal cannabis operation in Australia, right here in Southport, by early next year".
– THC Global Chairman, Steven Xu
As a result of the Southport Facility's substantial speed and production capacity, THC Global is poised to become the first commercial scale producer of medicinal cannabis products for patients in Australia and the global export market.
Additionally, the facility will also make use of its world-class extraction capabilities to explore other botanicals which could be formulated into the 'Next Generation of Medicinal Cannabis'. THC Global expects to begin seeing revenue generated by the sale of medicinal cannabis products produced at its Southport Facility—and other manufacturing sites—by early 2020.
The launch of THC's facility comes hot on heels of Health Minister Greg Hunt's announcement that the government would be prioritising medicinal cannabis license applications from 1 September.
"It showcases the Morrison Government's commitment to boosting local industry and helping those living with chronic or terminal illnesses," Hunt said.
"Cutting red tape and streamlining processes will strengthen this important and evolving industry, and ensure medicinal cannabis is available to Australian patients under proper medical supervision."
"As part of these changes the Government will also work towards a single licence model so there will now be one application for a medicinal cannabis licence covering cultivation, production, manufacture and research activities."
These sentiments were also echoed by the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, who said that the move was prompted by a desire to remove unnecessary red tape.
"The Morrison Government is committed to making it as streamlined as possible for companies to invest and do business in Australia, so we can grow the economy and create new jobs," she said.
"The projects will still have to meet all of the approvals required, but this arrangement will make sure that they are not being held up by unnecessary delays."
Aside from Health Minister Greg Hunt, the facility was also toured by the Federal Member for Moncrieff, Angie Bell, and the Queensland State Member for Southport Mr Rob Molhoek.
The Southport Facility is currently the largest bio-pharma manufacturing facility in the Southern Hemisphere.