Chicken farmers turn to medicinal cannabis, list Mountain View property

The chicken came first. But what’s next?

Chicken farmers to the east of Melbourne have turned to cannabis as the baton passes from traditional to emerging industry.

Alison and Peter Drew have $4.5m-$5m price hopes for the Mountain View farm they’ve acquired a medicinal cannabis license for about an hour and a half from the city.

Ms Drew said the family moved from the eastern suburbs with their five children 21 years ago and had farmed beef, dairy and broiler chickens on the 104.4ha site.

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Prime for the growing.

But when they lost their contract with Ingham’s — the business background couple got creative.

“We had a multimillion-dollar purpose-built enterprise within the farm (for the chicken contract), so we looked at something that would fit the mould — which was pretty hard to do; broiler chicken sheds are built specifically for that,” Ms Drew said.

“After many, many, many months of research we decided to apply to the office of drug control for a medicinal cannabis cultivation license — that took nearly two years dealing with the office of drug control … and were granted a license in April 2020.”

Any doctor in Victoria can now prescribe medicinal cannabis for any patient with any condition, if they have the required approvals, according to government information.

Ms Drew said they had 7000sq m of climate-controlled growing space available that would be the “perfect fit for cannabis” with minimal change to the infrastructure.


One of three dwellings.

There are also three dwellings on the site, which has been the Drews’ family home.

“We’re treading new ground here,” Ms Drew said.

“How many cannabis-licensed properties are on the market? Not many. We’ve had a fair bit of interest but no one’s obviously taken it to the next level. It’s a well-appointed property with three houses, it’s well set out and lends itself to a company of a large family unit for generational family farming.”

OneAgency’s John Patterson has the listing, at 641 Mountain View McDonalds Track.

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