Cannabis plans for Collie

Preliminary plans for the Cannaponics Australia Collie hub. Photo: Supplied.
Preliminary plans for the Cannaponics Australia Collie hub. Photo: Supplied.

Collie may soon be the hub for the Cannabis industry as Cannaponics Australia aims to get the ball rolling in 2020.

Since purchasing a 65 hectare block in Collie to build the $15 million cannabis and hemp operation late last year, the company had quickly grown its business behind the scenes and is ready to engage with the local community this February and March.

Company founder and managing director Rod Zakostelsky said the small team of 25 is taking note from the growing industry in America and Canada and has big goals for 2020 and 2021.

"There's a lot happening in the cannabis space, it's quickly replacing the automobile industry by three times," he said.

"Obviously with the story around the mining industry on the downward slope and all the focus on diversification to sustain and build upon the town, this was a big driving force for our vision in Collie.

"We could have bought land anywhere, realistically, however with the land available, our plans and the benefits it will bring to Collie it seemed like a no brainer for the plan.

"It's just a win-win situation, it ticks a lot of boxes around contribution which is a great box to tick and with employment and infrastructure it's really going to bring massive benefits to not only Collie but the region as a whole."

Mr Zakostelsky said the company hoped to turn soil by July to begin infrastructure on a small facility and grow to a major facility by the end of 2020, with the full production in full swing by 2021.

He predicted a job injection beginning at 70 during phase one and more than 200 for Collie from construction, to manufacturing by the end of phase two.

"There may be more once we start the second stage, especially in construction, towards the end of 2021," Mr Zakostelsky said.

"The add ons we have planned will allow up stream and down stream employment.

"This industry is going down the same pathway as alcohol and if it does you're looking at national supply chains and retail outlets involved and we want Collie to be the hub of that."

The new company plans to engage with Collie stakeholders in February this year and hold open community forums in March, where it plans to bring education of the plans and industry to the community and gain feedback from locals.

Long term plans for the company also include rehabilitation for addicts and an educational outlet for future cannabis development.

The development in Collie marks the second big medicinal cannabis producer in Western Australia with Little Green Pharma having commercial operations in the state but does not reveal where it plants its crops.