There could be one million medicinal cannabis plants in Southland in the next decade if Southern Medicinal's momentum keeps on building. From the former Mataura paper mill, the company is growing and processing medicinal cannabis and hemp.
However, this summer, three Southland farmers and one Otago farmer bought hemp seeds to take part in a trial with the company. Southern Medicinal executive director Greg Marshall said the farm trials returned 800kg per hectare, worth $150 per kilo, of high percentage CBD hemp.
He said that there was widespread interest from farmers in growing medicinal cannabis and hemp. "It's been so heartening for me to run into these dairy farmers who are so into it."
The Mataura operation is growing. A 10,000m² factory at the mill houses the converted shipping containers, which serve as grow chambers, the drying areas, and the processing space. Across the road, in a building that used to store 10,000t of aluminum dross by-product, is 30,000m² of space which Marshall said would be used to process and dry truckloads of plants next season.
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