A MAjor investment has been put into research into growing medicinal marijuana in Northern NSW. (Photo by Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)
A MAjor investment has been put into research into growing medicinal marijuana in Northern NSW. (Photo by Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)

$10m medical weed project will be grown at 'secret' site

RESEARCHERS at Southern Cross University are on a high after receiving government funding for their latest project into medicinal marijuana.

The research will examine the plant's physiology and biochemistry to determine the ideal conditions for producing high quality, year-round, consistent medicinal cannabis products.

The $10 million study comes as the NSW Minister for Agriculture, Adam Marshall, would be "investing in pioneering research into the medicinal cannabis industry".

The number of researchers into medicinal marijuana has tripled with this project according to the state government.

It is understood the marijuana used in the SCU study will be grown in a 'secret' facility off site.

Associate Professor Bronwyn Barkla Tobias Kretzschmar examines a plant.
Associate Professor Bronwyn Barkla Tobias Kretzschmar examines a plant.

Associate Professor Bronwyn Barkla, from Southern Cross University, said the new government and industry research study was a critical step in the delivery of therapeutically-consistent and safe medicinal cannabis products.

"The research team at Southern Cross University will investigate the compounds the plant produces, in what quantity, and where and how the plant synthesises those compounds," Prof Barkla said.

"This is important for quality assurance, ensuring the industry is able to deliver a consistent and safe product of high efficacy to patients."

SCU will join NSW Department of Primary Industries, Cann Group Ltd, Aglive Pty Ltd, University of Newcastle, and the Federal Government in the collaboration.

 

 

Associate Professor Bronwyn Barkla and Associate Professor Tobias Kretzschmar will help to underpin pioneering research into the medicinal cannabis industry in NSW, analysing the plant’s physiology and biochemistry.
Associate Professor Bronwyn Barkla and Associate Professor Tobias Kretzschmar will help to underpin pioneering research into the medicinal cannabis industry in NSW, analysing the plant’s physiology and biochemistry.

 

 

The university's Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research, Professor Mary Spongberg said SCU was well-credentialed to contribute to this study.

"For more than 25 years Southern Cross has been one of the leaders of medicinal plant research in Australia," Prof. Spongberg said.

"We have customised cannabis research infrastructure and more than a decade of experience in cannabis analytical chemistry and cannabis genetics, collectively making Southern Cross one of the most experienced Australian universities in cannabis research.

"Globally, medicinal cannabis is a growing multibillion-dollar market and we believe these project outcomes will make Australia internationally competitive in the premium market segment, while nationally this project will lay the foundation to meet long-term client demand of medicinal cannabis products," she said.

 

Associate Professor Bronwyn Barkla and Associate Professor Tobias Kretzschmar inspecting the trichomes on a cannabis plant.
Associate Professor Bronwyn Barkla and Associate Professor Tobias Kretzschmar inspecting the trichomes on a cannabis plant.

 

 

The project was initiated by Cann Group Ltd, who have become the first company to be issued a Cannabis Research License by the Australian Government.

CEO peter Crock said Australia could offer plenty to the medicinal marijuana industry.

"Australia is competitively placed to deliver uniquely differentiated medicinal cannabis products into global markets and this partnership will help to ensure the industry can capitalise on that opportunity," Mr Crock said.