Canada-based PUF Ventures Inc. will build a 1 million-square-foot greenhouse operation, with large scale manufacturing, processing and office facilities for the cultivation, production and manufacture of medical cannabis and associated products in Australia. The project is the result of a strategic partnership between PUF Ventures Australia (PVA) and the Richmond Valley Council, the local government in the Northern Rivers region of northeastern New South Wales. At full scale, the new facility will have the capacity to support annual production of 100,000 kilograms of high quality cannabis.
“We are continuing our strategy of global expansion by building a state-of-the-art, 1 million-square-foot facility which, when complete, will be the largest cannabis cultivation operation in the southern hemisphere and one of the largest in the world,” said Derek Ivany, President and CEO of PUF. “We plan to leverage the expertise we have gained from the Canadian cannabis marketplace and the Health Canada ACMPR licensing process, to achieve our goal of becoming a large-scale cannabis producer in Australia as well as worldwide.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to position our company as one of the first producers in the nascent Australian cannabis market,” Ivany added.
PVA has agreed to a purchase option agreement with the Richmond Valley Council for a 27-hectare parcel of land near the town of Casino in northern New South Wales, Australia. The council will provide the land for five years at no cost, with an option for PVA to purchase the parcel on favorable terms after that time. The purchase agreement and associated partnership with the Richmond Valley Council will allow PVA to enter the cannabis market on a solid footing with the full support of the local political and governing bodies. Having the largest medical cannabis facility in the southern hemisphere in Richmond Valley is expected to draw other investments in research, education, manufacturing, tourism and other sectors.
“We are very excited by the prospect of working with an international company like PUF to support the development of this important new industry which will significantly add to our gross regional product, create approximately 300 direct new jobs in our local economy, and lead to other follow-on local and regional employment opportunities,” said Vaughan Macdonald, General Manager of Richmond Valley Council. “This locally supported project will go a long way to meet our commitment to reduce unemployment through economic development and improve the prosperity of our community. We look forward to working closely with PVA to bring this project to reality and working to create a new agricultural industry of medicinal cannabis in our region and across Australia.”
According to January 2017 Grand View Research report, the global medical marijuana market is expected to reach a value of $55.8 billion by 2025. Australia is one of 12 countries that have introduced new medical cannabis laws in the past 2.5 years. Assuming recreational cannabis becomes legal and with a population of more than 24 million people, it is suggested that the cannabis market in Australia could grow to $7.25 billion over the next seven years.
“I am very pleased to announce this joint venture partnership between PUF Ventures Australia and PUF Ventures Canada and I’m excited with our plan to build a state-of-the-art, 1 million-square-foot cannabis greenhouse operation,” said Michael Horsfall, President and CEO of PVA. “PVA is fully supportive of the Australian federal government’s policy and commitment on stimulating strong economic growth in regional Australia. We have successfully partnered with a local government to stimulate long-term growth, deliver sustainable employment and further diversify regional economies by enabling them to enter and access new markets through this strategic partnership. While the cannabis market is in its infancy in Australia, we are confident that the Richmond Valley project will make a significant difference to a local economy. Our core strategies align with that of government and this will enable us to access a range of local support and initiatives from both federal and state governments now and into the future.”
PUF Ventures is on the path of becoming one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. In addition to the new Australian cultivation facility, the company is currently working through the ACMPR process with Health Canada, and has launched a biomedical cannabidiol (“CBD”) product line to be manufactured in the United States and sold in Europe with a specific emphasis on Germany and Croatia.