Medicinal cannabis: Roll up, roll up, green acres sought for joint venture
Inside Victoria's secret medicinal cannabis facility
Families have to wait until 2017 to access drug
Farmers are watching developments on the medicinal cannabis front with interest, but have not rushed the government asking to grow the drug.
President of the Victorian Farmers Federation, Peter Tuohey, said some farmers were interested but didn't know whether it would be grown in hothouses, in open paddocks, or both.
"There will be farmers in different parts of the state that will be interested in trying it. As long as the cost of securing [a licence] is not going to be too difficult," he said.
"You will need a good reliable irrigation system most likely. You'll need fertile soils and probably good weed management and disease management, which is probably not unlike any other highly productive crop."
He said if it is to be grown in paddocks, the biggest issue would be security and "stopping the wrong people getting in, digging it up and carting it away".
The first licences are expected to be available later this year and will be a Commonwealth responsibility. The state government will establish an Office of Medicinal Cannabis which will "oversee the production and manufacture of the drug in Victoria".
A spokesman for the Victorian Department of Economic Development said establishing an industry framework was a "complex reform" that would take time.
A spokesman for the federal health department said the growing scheme would "not be operational until at least September 2016".
The spokesman said growing medicinal cannabis would "be subject to tight security provisions".