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The growth and cultivation of Spring Sciences Australia

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

By Sheree Hoddinett

If you haven’t yet heard of Spring Sciences Australia (SSA), chances are you soon will. They are the team behind a soon-to-be fully operational medical cannabis (MC) facility right here in the City of Moreton Bay.

The facility is the first of its kind in Queensland for Spring Sciences Australia, who is an affiliate company to Spring Sciences USA. The setup of the facility, cultivation and manufacturing will all take place in co-operation with their US partners, which has established cutting edge research and technology capabilities to develop a top medical cannabinoid product line for domestic and international markets.

For the local team, they see their approach to the industry as being significantly differentiated from other like developments in providing essential new industry, employment and revenue to regional Queensland communities. The growing facility will include industry leading management practices, contained in a strictly controlled indoor growing environment using propriety hybrid strains, specifically designed to achieve the highest quality of product.

And what a setup they have! When I was first told I was going to tour the local facility, I really had no idea what to expect. To say I was impressed really is an understatement. From tissue culture (where the plants come to life) to growing rooms, trimming, drying, packaging and then final shipment, the whole facility is all about a lean and efficient process. The team have been carefully selected to fill their roles and are certainly experts in their respective fields.

Dr Steve Newberry is the chief executive officer of SSA and has an extensive background in business and company start-ups, in mining and other industrial sectors. As the Australian co-founder of SSA, he has been working in the medicinal cannabis industry for more than a half-decade and is excited to see things finally coming to fruition and close to operational at the sophisticated facility.

“We established SSA four years ago following discussions with a long-time business associate, Rob Gerhard,” Steve said. “He had successfully invested and built a medicinal cannabis facility in Michigan USA under the Spring Sciences brand. We all agreed that Australia was the ideal place to replicate and build upon that business model on the back of the expertise and IP the US team could bring to the business. 

“It's been a long haul, almost four years since we submitted our initial licence application and we have gone through a lot in that time, but it has all now come together and is a very exciting time for us. We have a great team and we can't wait to start growing and to complete our first harvest.”

From the first turning of dirt on the SSA local site to the point where they are now has taken two years of hard work, dedication and a never-give-up attitude. But as Steve points out, it’s a venture that will certainly be worth it once they are fully operational.

“The medicinal cannabis (MC) licencing, construction and approval process through to completion has been four years. So, it's not for the faint hearted,” he said. “We are now implementing the operational phase of our business plan which will see exciting expansion of cultivation, production and processing of medicinal cannabis.

“The facility will produce 10-12 tonne of dry flower a year when at full capacity, along with extracts and pharmaceutical products with a doubling of capacity with the completion of stage two of the facility. This will commence construction later next year.

“We are also establishing a series of satellite broadacre growing operations around Caboolture to support the main facility and this will further add significant raw material for production of MC extracts. So, we intend to be a major player in both the domestic and international MC market.”

The team currently features 15 staff and will increase to 30 by January next year. The full complement of staff is expected to be around 50-60. The growth of the team is just one exciting chapter in the story of SSA, with plenty still to come on their venture.

“Apart from the initial employment boost and boost to local service industries during construction, it is a new industry with the potential to attract other downstream pharmaceutical businesses,” Steve said. “The idea of developing a pharmaceutical campus in the new industrial areas is something we have proposed to the City of Moreton council. 

“Demand for medicinal cannabis in Australia is growing exponentially and we believe that in providing a premium quality, locally grown, reliable Aussie product will, over time, help alleviate supply issues and quality concerns common with imports.

“We have some exciting joint ventures in place with other Australian and international companies, which will allow SSA to establish its pharmaceutical brand with a comprehensive range of premium MC products. We intend to set a new benchmark, in terms of Australian product quality, efficacy and price. This is an area we are actively working on now and we hope to launch our brand in the new year. 

“It's an exciting new industry for which we believe we have developed the right business model. With the commencement of cultivation in the coming weeks, we move into a dynamic new growth phase for SSA.”

To find out more about the SSA company and what they do, visit https://www.springsciences.com.au




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