$500m cannabis farm plans lodged with council
THE company behind a proposed $500 million, 71 hectare hi-tech medicinal marijuana farm next to Wellcamp Airport is seeking approvals from Toowoomba Regional Council.
Asterion lodged its development application last week, and in pre-lodgement meetings with TRC has indicated it hopes to have the first stage of the farm up and running by the first quarter of 2021.
According to documents filed with the council, the facility will consist of four glasshouse "modules", capable of producing 500 tonnes per annum of dried cannabis for medicinal use.
Supporting the glasshouses will be substations and generators for electricity supply, chilled water facilities for temperature control, a processing facility for drying and packing the product, a general administration and security entrance facility, gatehouse and vehicle inspection facility, general warehousing and carparking.
The development's infrastructure will take up 455,447 sq m.
Designed to be at the cutting edge of "renewable precision agriculture", each glasshouse module will contain flowering rooms and harvesting processes, as well as infrastructure to support the required temperature control, watering, lighting, bio-security requirements, waste management, and amenities for employees.
Artificial lighting will provide an optimum balance between daylight and darkness, and the modules will be "temperature and humidity controlled via an air conditioning system that optimises yield throughout the year".
"The planting, moving and harvesting of plants will be predominantly automated as it provides efficiencies in process, but it also minimises human interaction, which is a primary source of bio-security failure," documents said.
Each glasshouse will occupy 10 hectares, with an additional one hectare dedicates to ancillary functions.
Shading curtains will be used to control daylight entering the modules and mitigate light emitting from the glasshouses at night.
Billed as the world's largest medicinal cannabis farm, the project is expected to create more than 1000 jobs and inject up to $1 billion into the Toowoomba and Australian economies.
The farm's product will be exported internationally via Wellcamp Airport.