This article by Louis O'Neill was originally published on The Green Fund, and appears here with permission.
ECS Botanics is planning to expand its Tasmanian operations by a hundredfold as it lodges plans with the Office of Drug Control to upsize its cultivation area from 2,500 sqm to 320,000 sqm.
ECS Botanics (ASX:ECS) recently announced it had lodged plans with the Office of Drug Control (ODC) to expand its Tasmanian operations, again building on its current position as the ASX's largest and lowest-cost producer of medicinal cannabis in Australia.
The company will be focusing on producing low-THC cannabis in Tasmania, most of which will be grown outdoors, to be used in the creation of CBD products.
In the meantime, ECS is already harvesting and selling large volumes of biomass from its Victorian operations, while in the midst of harvesting and signing contracts for its dry flower production, cultivated in large commercial greenhouses.
The company is producing a range of cannabis products while pursuing aggressive expansion to fuel growth and expand its market share in Australia and overseas.
Moreover, the choice of outdoor cultivation allows ECS to capitalize upon recently reduced fencing requirements by the ODC.
As the Office of Drug Control previously stated:
"Broadacre (outdoor cannabis cultivation) is the lowest cost option at $75 per square metre or $888 per kg dried flower, and indoor the most expensive at $2,291 per sqm or $1,909 per kg dried flower. This translates to an annualised cost at maturity of $9.9 million per annum for broadacre and $21.2 million for indoor cultivation."
ECS will also be positioned as a crucial supplier of CBD to companies ahead of the down-scheduling of low-dose cannabidiol from Schedule 4 to Schedule 3, and their eventual availability in pharmacies over the counter.
The announcement follows a recently established supply agreement with