Fresh hope for pain relief with new joint venture

Published 21 February 2018
Medicinal cannabis agreement with Solaris Nutraceuticals

Newly signed agreements have paved the way for a flourishing industry built on the medicinal value of cannabis.

The agreements between Southern Cross University and Solaris Nutraceuticals commit to the development of hemp and medicinal cannabis products in the NSW Northern Rivers region that will enhance animal and human health.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker said the agreement was a great step forward not just for the region, but also for consumers.

"Universities have a vital role to play as catalysts for diversification and development – creating new opportunities through 21st century industries,” said Professor Shoemaker.

“This agreement is a great example of Southern Cross University’s commitment to engaging with industry and the community, so that we can create an environment for discovery and commercial development, driving changes in our backyard that can translate into benefits around the world."

Professor Shoemaker signed the agreement earlier this month with CEO of Solaris Nutraceuticals, Michael Horsfall, committing to a new approach that brings together the University’s internationally-recognised expertise in medicinal cannabis research with the corporate capabilities of Solaris Nutraceuticals (formerly known as PUF Ventures Australia).

The University’s Lismore campus is equipped with high-security research laboratories where researchers work with the world’s most diverse collection of cannabis seed and has already established an international reputation for botanical research.

The decision of Solaris to establish a new medicinal cannabis plant in Casino, just a half hour drive from Lismore, has underscored the potential of this collaboration to yield substantial outcomes.

“This is an exciting opportunity not just for Solaris Nutraceuticals, but also for the Northern Rivers region. The project will deliver around 300 direct jobs and make a significant impact to the local economy and raise the socio-economic profile of the Northern Rivers region,” Mr Horsfall said.

“We are very pleased to announce that on Friday 2 February 2018, this project received grant funding of $2.5 million from the Australian Government as part of the Regional Jobs Investment Packages program (RJIP), a grant initiative that was made available by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. This is a significant step forward for our project and we are very appreciative of the support we have received from federal, state and local governments.

“Solaris Nutraceuticals will work with the University to identify opportunities to improve the properties and quality of medicines that can be derived from cannabis.

“These new collaborations hold tremendous potential and we are excited to be working towards a strong future together with Southern Cross.”
Photo: Inspecting the facilities at Southern Cross University: Michael Horsfall (left), co-founder and CEO of Solaris Nutraceuticals, David Parry, co-founder and director of Solaris Nutraceuticals, Ashley Dowell, manager of the University's Analytical Reseach Laboratory, Pro Vice Chancellor of Engagement Ben Roche, Vice Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker and Vaughan Macdonald, general manager of Richmond Valley Council.

Media contact: Sharlene King 02 6620 3508 or 0429 661 349