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growing weed in perth

Senior analyst Will Chapman at IBIS World, an industry market research group, said there was huge potential for medicinal cannabis manufacturing in Australia.

"The government only legalised production and cultivation in 2016, so the industry is still in its youth phase," he said.

"It won't be as big as the Lake MacLeod salt operation, but once we are operating at full capacity, we will need 40 full-time staff that will do all sorts of tasks from corporate roles to growing, harvesting, extraction and formulation of medicines, logistics, and security," Mr Cox said.

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"The Gascoyne has many drawcards," he said.

There are currently 31 cannabis enterprises that have approval to operate in Australia, and although the sector is still in its early stages, experts anticipate the market to boom.

"We have our local building approval already and, all things going to plan, we could start construction in six months," he said.

Scale and production

However, Mr Cox said with a natural source of light, the crop would be grown organically, reducing costs significantly.

"It will be one of the biggest medicinal cannabis facilities in the southern hemisphere."

When the West Australian government introduced the Criminal Property Confiscation Act in 2000 to target the Mr Bigs of the cannabis trafficking trade, the small fry who grew a few plants in the backyard for personal use were probably never in its sight.

"I've absolutely no idea [how five plants weighed 31kg].

How Dave came to be charged as a trafficker with five plants came down to how the plants were weighed – with soil, roots and stems in addition to any portion of the plant deemed useable.