Another contender for the world’s largest cannabis production facility is under construction on a 90ha plot in the Queensland region of Australia.
Canadian firm Asterion Cannabis is investing C$10 million ($7.6 million) in the project and it claims it will yield more than 500,000 kilos of cannabis flower per year. That would leave it vying with the likes of a facility in Portugal that Holigen is building and Canopy Rivers’ venture in Sicily for the title of the world’s largest single cannabis production farm.
The Holigen project in the Alentejo region expects to produce more than 500,000 kilos per year too, while the Canopy Rivers (TSXV: RIV) facility is aiming for 600,000 per year. Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC), currently the world’s largest producer, has just upped its stake in Canopy Rivers from 26.5% to 27.3%. In turn, Canopy Rivers has just completed a $17.4 million investment, upping its stake in Canapar Sicily, which will spearhead that project on the Italian island.
Asterion Cannabis is bidding to join producers like Canopy in the big leagues with this venture close to the city of Toowoomba in southern Queensland. It will house a 40ha greenhouse dedicated to producing organic cannabis, while there will also be a research and development facility.
Asterion has its sights firmly set on the Asian market, hailing the trade routes that currently connect internationally from Australia to Hong Kong, with further route expansion planned into China and the Middle East.
Chief executive Stephen Van Deventer noted that the big winners have already been chosen in Canada – Aurora, Canopy, Aphria, and Tilray – and that they will go on to absorb the smaller players. He has previously said that he does not want to be a small player and he does not want to be bought, so he has decided to launch the momentous project in Australia.
It points to the increasingly global nature of the cannabis industry. Things are heating up in Latin America, where Argentina has just announced that it is creating its first medicinal cannabis production facility and Uruguay is bidding to follow Canada, The Netherlands and Israel into the export game. Mexico is also developing at a rapid pace, where former Mexican president Vicente Fox is bidding to cash in on the burgeoning South American cannabis industry thanks to his role at Khiron Life Sciences.
That follows on from former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak becoming chairman at InterCure, an ambitious cannabis firm. Now, former Israeli chief of police Yochanan Danino has become chairman of rival Israeli medicinal marijuana producer Together, showing just how legitimate the industry is becoming across the world.