Why the Coast is the place to grow medical marijuana
UNUSED canelands could be transformed into farms growing medicinal cannabis for a billion dollar industry creating hundreds of jobs based on the Sunshine Coast.
Buddina's Adam Benjamin has spent years investigating the viability of the medicinal cannabis industry and is ready to supply the product to market as soon as trials and licences are approved.
His company, Medifarm, will initially source medicinal cannabis from world-leading countries such as Israel, Canada and America.
But he believes the Sunshine Coast could easily be poised to become the leader in the industry for Australia.
The unused canelands across the region could grow the marijuana plant needed for production.
However those hoping the farms will provide easy access to sought-after marijuana for a quick smoke of the illegal drug will be disappointed.
The farmlands would be protected by a "military standard security".
"We are looking at using former Special Forces operatives," Mr Benjamin said.
"Security and control measures are a big part of the requirement to gain a licence in this industry."
Mr Benjamin is also no pot-smoking hippy.
He has been involved in the medical industry for years, with degrees in business and science and has a police check ensuring his clean bill of health.
He has spent months lobbying the Federal Government and the Sunshine Coast Council to see his dream of being ready to supply medicinal cannabis for trials as soon as licences are ready.
"I have been working very closely with the Sunshine Coast Council, and it is very encouraging to receive such great support at every meeting about what we want to achieve here," he said.
"We want to establish the Sunshine Coast as the leading region for research and clinical trials.
"With a world-class hospital health precinct and university right on our doorstep it makes perfect sense to drive this innovation right here.
"Medifarm has access to international medical cannabis products and intellectual property from leading overseas companies which will facilitate this whole process.
"The big hurdle down in NSW and Victoria has been they couldn't access the product, but we have developed core strategic relationships with global leaders to be well positioned to pioneer the exciting innovations of medical cannabis in Australia."
"Our view is to also establish a growing industry on the Sunshine Coast.
"It would grow exceptionally well here."
And it's a project close to his heart as he has become close friends with Mark Martin, the father of Yandina eight-year-old Sam Martin who died from cancer 16 months ago.
"Mark is a great advocate for what we are achieving at Medifarm and so ultimately I want to ensure the local population can get immediate access to quality medication," he said.
"You never want another Sam Martin to have to suffer without access to this type of medication."