Business investment

The Victorian Government industry aims to create and foster medicinal cannabis industry that can supply half of Australia's market for medicinal cannabis by 2028.

The Victorian Government is engaging with both local and global companies and other interested entities to grow the new industry.

Why medicinal cannabis businesses are choosing to invest in Melbourne and Victoria

Victoria is an exciting hub for the development of innovative pharmaceuticals and medical technologies. Collaboration across industry, academic and clinical communities facilitates access to expertise and knowledge, and stimulates the development of new technologies and products.

Victoria has the following advantages over other Australian jurisdictions:

Local research and compliance expertise

Agriculture Victoria Research within the department, is seen internationally as an emerging world leader in cannabis plant genomics and systems biology. It has firsthand experience meeting the relevant Commonwealth and state government compliance including:

  • Office of Drug Control (ODC) licences and permits for the importation, cultivation, production and manufacturing of medicinal cannabis
  • Good Manufacturing Practice
  • Victoria's Drugs and Poisons Regulations to manufacture and supply medicinal cannabis.

Agriculture Victoria Research can offer Australian cultivators and manufacturers technical and research services including:

  • Commercial licensing of its proprietary medicinal cannabis strains
  • Provision of advisory services
  • Provision of technical services, including cultivation, extraction, manufacture, and comprehensive compositional analysis of medicinal cannabis
  • Collaborative and industry sponsored research and innovation in medicinal cannabis systems biology and accelerated precision breeding of medicinal cannabis
  • Other technical and research services.

For further information on Agriculture Victoria's services, call 136 186 or email

World-leading MedTech, Biotech & Pharmaceutical Capabilities

  • Victoria is a leading life sciences hub with established expertise in agribioscience, pharmaceutical science and drug delivery
  • Victorian-based researchers annually win 40 per cent or more of Australia's competitive medical research funding.
  • 41 per cent of all ASX-listed medtech and pharmaceutical companies are based in Melbourne.
  • Victoria is the largest pharmaceutical exporter in Australia with 56% of the value of exports.
  • Melbourne has an international reputation for delivery of world-class clinical trials in partnership with the global pharmaceutical industry.
  • Victorian entities are actively engaged in medicinal cannabis research, including participation in a major international study that demonstrated for the first time the potential for medicinal cannabis to reduce seizures in a severe form of epilepsy.
  • Victoria has a vibrant pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in niche areas, supported by increasingly advanced technologies.
  • Victoria’s medical research capabilities include the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre a new $1 billion purpose-built facility for care, research and development of new therapies.

Early phase clinical trials capabilities in Melbourne

Australia offers attractive Research and Development (R&D) tax incentives designed to encourage more Australian companies to engage in R&D.

  • Victoria carries out about a third of all clinical trials in Australia with a speedy and flexible approach to the approval process without compromising on quality. Phase 1 of clinical trials can begin within one week of registration in Victoria.
  • Melbourne has a network of universities, independent medical research institutes, clinical trial networks, biobanks, and Contract Research Organisations (CRO).
  • Scientific research conducted in Australia ranks one of the highest in Asia-Pacific for productivity, impact, and has one of the most rigorous patent protection systems in the world. Data from studies can be used to support international regulatory applications, including US & Europe.
  • Melbourne has access to clinician Key Opinion Leaders with international expertise in neuroscience, oncology, and pain medicine.

Competitive business costs:

  • Competitive construction costs, and the cheapest land costs on the eastern seaboard
  • low cost remuneration (across multiple sectors), distribution and supply chain, with the largest capacity of service provision
  • Australia's second lowest payroll tax.

Strong economy and growing population

  • 25 years of continuous economic growth.
  • 2.4 per cent average annual growth over the last 10 years.
  • Victoria remains the fastest-growing state in Australia with our population expected to reach 11.2 million by 2056.

Skilled workforce and access to talent

  • Premier location for commercially oriented graduates
  • More graduates from Science, IT, Engineering, Agricultural & Environmental Studies, Management & Commerce, Food & Hospitality Studies than any other Australian city
  • Australia's highest ranked university – University of Melbourne.
  • Australia's largest University – Monash University

High quality infrastructure and connectivity

  • Extensive road and rail networks linked to air and sea ports.
  • Melbourne Airport 24/7, international, curfew free
  • Avalon Airport 24/7, curfew free, international freight

Asia Pacific Time Zone

  • Melbourne time zone bridges America and European business hours.

Proactive government

  • The Victorian Government provides comprehensive investment facilitation/assistance services (local and off-shore).
  • Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is a world leading regulator for new therapeutic products, ensuring safety and quality.

If you are looking to invest in Melbourne and Victoria, government assistance may be available depending on the nature, size and potential location of your business. For further information or contact, please visit the Invest Victoria website.

If you are a small business or just starting out on developing a business, a range of information and support is available through Business Victoria.

Page last updated: 9 March 2021