ANANDA Developments has secured £300,000 to build out the first phase of its medicinal cannabis growing research facility in Lincolnshire.
In May last year the AQSE Growth Market-listed business unveiled £12m plans to create one of the UK’s largest medicinal cannabis farms – capable of growing 300,000 plants a year.
In a market update Ananda says the £300,000 fundraise will allow it to undertake work on the first phase of the development.
CEO Melissa Sturgess said “We are excited about this development in Ananda’s ambitions to provide high-quality, cost-effective, UK-grown medicinal cannabis to patients here and abroad.
“The UK medicinal cannabis market is growing at around 20% a month and has grown to around 3,000 patients in the last 12 months. These funds will allow us to build Phase One of our medicinal cannabis facility if we get a green light from the Home Office.”
A virtual fly through of the proposed Phase One facility can be found here
Ananda went on to say the UK Home Office had advised its growing partner DJT Plants that its application has progressed successfully through internal Home Office checks.
However, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions the Home Office has been able to undertake the required site visit ‘which will be undertaken as soon as travel restrictions allow’.
Ananda says its Phase One Lincolnshire facility will be used to genetically stabilise and analyse up to 65 strains of cannabis and will be comprised of:
-a 2,000 sq ms greenhouse to grow out chosen strains of medicinal cannabis to maturity
-a modular breeding facility to be located within an existing farm structure
-a secure, monitored perimeter structure.
40 Hectare Plans
If DJT Plants receives its licence and establishes its large-scale research growing project, it will seek to expand the licence to grow medicinal cannabis for commercial purposes over time, on an area of 40 hectares identified and earmarked by JEPCO, said Ananda.
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In an interview with BusinessCann last year Ms Sturgess said its 300,000 plants will be capable of delivering an annual harvest of 200 tonnes when at full capacity.
She said: “We will be growing under proven, successful, natural cycles – under poly-tunnel – with no requirement for artificial heat or light. We plan to ramp-up to full capacity over a six-year period.
“As the market slowly opens up, the UK is being seen very much as a premium jurisdiction for medical cannabis.”