Over the past five years, Australia’s legal cannabis industry has exploded, with businesses building cannabis cultivation sites all across Australia. While this has drawn a large amount of public interest, many of us are unaware of just how much cannabis is cultivated around us.
In this guide, we’ll go through each state – showing you where cannabis is grown legally in Australia
NOTE: The information in this guide was sourced from licensed companies that have shared information about their operations directly, or through the Office of Drug Control.
Legal cannabis vs. illegal cannabis in Australia
There are two forms of legal cannabis in Australia: medical cannabis and hemp. Medical cannabis is cultivated by companies that have been granted a Medical Cannabis Cultivation License by the Office of Drug Control (ODC).
Hemp, on the other hand, can be grown by companies with a hemp cultivation license – which is issued at a State Government level.
Where is cannabis grown in Australia?
Under guidance from the Australian government, companies who cultivate cannabis are advised not to release sensitive information about their cannabis operation, including where their cultivation sites are located.
For that reason, it is impossible to map out the exact address of every cultivation site in Australia. However, we can narrow it down to a state-by-state level to get an idea of cultivation hot-spots (spoiler alert: it’s Queensland!)
Here’s that breakdown:
As far as I can find, there are no medical cannabis or hemp cultivation sites in the ACT. However, recreational cannabis is decriminalized, so technically, we can count every home with 4 or less cannabis plants as a cultivation site.
New South Wales
For a state that’s so rigorous about policing cannabis some are calling it a class war, New South Wales is home to a surprising number of cannabis cultivation companies. That includes:
- ANTG, who runs a facility in Double Bay. Cannabis grown there is sold domestically and in Germany.
- Canngea, who operates an indoor facility that spans 1,000 square metres. The facility uses aeroponic (soil-less) farming methods to grow medical cannabis.
- Cannapacific, who have two cultivation sites: a 10,000 square metre indoor facility and a 3-hectare outdoor facility.
- Cymra Life Science, who runs a medical cannabis tissue culture propagation facility.
- Hemp Fields, who has a picturesque hemp facility in Byron Bay.
- One of Ananda Food’s facilities. The other two are located in Tasmania and Queensland.
Hemp farming in the NT only became legal in May 2020, meaning that the state’s cannabis industry is still at the seed-in-the-ground stage. Still, the state will soon be home to a five-hectare hemp farm located in the Douglas Daly region.
South Australia’s cannabis industry is budding a little slower than other Australian states, but it’s getting there. The state is currently home to:
- BBS Pharmaceuticals, who is currently building a medical cannabis cultivation site in regional SA. The facility will open in 2021, uses water-efficient production and is carbon neutral.
- Leafcann, who is building a facility with Major Project Status in Onkaparinga.
- Good Country Hemp, who grows award-winning hemp on SA’s Limestone Coast.
By far Australia’s least pot-progressive state, the cannabis business in Tasmania is tough for patients, doctors and growers. However, the state is home to two major companies, including:
- Tasmanian Botanics, who have an 85,000 square metre facility.
- Extractas Bioscience (formerly ‘Tasmanian Alkaloids’) who operate a $10 million cultivation facility in Westbury. This facility was built with a loan from the state government.
Queensland is often considered the ‘home’ of cannabis in Australia, as its warm climate and intense sunshine have made it a key place for indoor and outdoor cannabis cultivation. Queensland is currently home to:
- Medifarm, who opened Queensland’s first medical cannabis farm in remote Queensland in 2019.
- Ausmedican, who is building one of Australia’s largest outdoor medical cannabis cultivation farm in Noosa Heads.
- Cannim, who operate medical cannabis farms in both Queensland and Jamaica.
- THC Global, who operates a medical cannabis cultivation facility in Southport through their subsidiary ‘Canndeo’.
- Cannoz, which cultivates medical cannabis and was acquired by the Releaf Group in March 2021.
- Hydrorganics, who are building a $333 million medical cannabis facility with Major Project Status.
- MC Therapeutics, who operates a 5,000 square meter cultivation site near the Sunshine Coast.
- MedCann, who operates a facility in Springfield that produces 6,500 kilograms of dried cannabis annually.
- Medicinal Harvest, who are currently building an indoor construction facility in Warwick.
- Medifarm, who operates Australia’s first medical cannabis farm on the Sunshine Coast. This farm produces 1.2 tonnes of medical cannabis annually.
- Hemp Farms Australia (HFA), who have been growing industrial hemp outdoors in the Queensland sun since 2017.
Queensland is also home to Australia’s regional cannabis capital – Toowoomba. Toowoomba currently hosts three companies, including:
- Asterion Cannabis, who is building a $400 million facility that was granted Major Project Status in 2020. Once operational, it will produce 500,000 kilograms of cannabis annually.
- Cannatrek, who operates a 16,000 square metre facility that employs 400 people.
- Medibilis, who is currently building a $180 million facility that will produce 80 – 100 tonnes of cannabis annually. The site was granted Major Project Status in July 2020.
Despite its climate, Victoria is increasingly popular as a destination for cannabis cultivation. The state is currently home to:
- Cannatrek, who is building a $160 million cultivation facility in Shepperton. This facility was also granted Major Project Status.
- The Cann Group, who are building a $184 million greenhouse facility in Mildura. The facility received a $1,975 million grant from the Victorian government in July 2020.
- ECS Botanics, who recently acquired Murray Meds and their cultivation facility on the Murray River.
- Levin Health, who cultivate medical cannabis in a facility in Gippsland.
- Medigrowth, who runs a custom “hybrid grow” facility that includes indoor cultivation, greenhouse cultivation and aquaponics.
- Australia Primary Hemp, who grow hemp for food products in a facility near Mt. Elephant.
Although West Australia is vast, the state has limited farming space. However, it’s still home to two cannabis companies that cultivate cannabis. That includes:
- Elite Cannabinoids, who are building a 46-hectare medical cannabis production facility in Gascoyne.
- Little Green Pharma, who run a cultivation facility in Southwest WA.
Australia is also home to a number of companies with cannabis cultivation licenses who have chosen to keep their facility’s location a closely-guarded secret. That includes:
- The Althea Group
- Spring Sciences Australia, who (may) run a mystery-location facility in Australia, but definitely grow medical cannabis in a 16,000 square foot greenhouse in Michigan.
Finally, there are companies that have a cultivation license, but make no mention of a cultivation facility at all. That includes:
Although it may seem like there are a lot of companies on this list, there are other cultivation sites we couldn’t include. Many companies choose to make details of their operations public, but others prefer to work in secret.
Over the next few years, we will continue to see more cannabis cultivation sites across Australia – especially if the cost of licensing decreases under changes to licensing laws.
Stay tuned, and you’ll watch this industry bloom.