Boom city will be home to mega cannabis farm
Construction is set to begin on the world's biggest medicinal cannabis farm, tipped to export an incredible $1bn a year of the pharmaceuticals from Toowoomba.
The Asterion farm will have 40ha of cannabis in four 10ha greenhouses on the 75ha site that will export through Wellcamp airport to the world.
The centre will be more akin to a hi-tech pharmaceutical plant than a farm, with labs producing more than 10,000 plantlets a day, growing into 500,000kg of cannabis a year in the high security compound.
Asterion's Dave Holland said growing conditions were scientifically controlled, down to the amount of light allowed in to the self-contained blackout rooms and finely filtered air to remove mould spores.
The first 10ha grow module and production facility will be up and running by the end of next year. The farm would employ about 1000 people.
Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio said there was "tremendous potential", with Asterion one of three mooted cannabis and other hi-tech farms - but the region needed more water to truly bloom.
"We are expecting an extra 55,000 people here by 2051," Cr Antonio said. "Because of the sort of community we are, the ambience and liveability of the place we ought to be looking at attracting as many of the Melbournites and Sydneyites and Brisbanites who want to get out of the big smoke and come to a good regional capital.
"We can do it. I think Toowoomba's future is particularly bright. Water is a limiting factor and connectivity will be particularly important, like fast rail. If we were to get more water we have some of the richest agricultural land in the world west of Toowoomba."
Cr Antonio said the Inland Rail would be a game changer for the city, becoming one of the nation's pre-eminent inland ports.
Originally published as Boom city will be home to mega cannabis farm