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Media Release 22.08.17

Launch of revolutionary cannabis company

Australian-first cultivation technique involving fish

An innovative medical cannabis company has launched in Australia bringing a unique cultivation technique from Canada, producing the purest and highest quality product at a much lower price than conventional cultivation. The company is planning to build a $20m pharmaceutical grade cannabis cultivation and production facility in Australia.

Director of Medicinal Organic Cannabis Australia Pty Ltd (MOCA), Alessandro Sorbello, said MOCA’s focus on sustainability led to its partnership with the Canadian company, Green Relief Inc., which specialises in the cultivation technique known as aquaponics.

“In the aquaponic process, plants, fish, and microbes develop into a natural ecosystem for growing organic cannabis. The process uses 90 per cent less water than conventional agriculture with no discharge of damaging wastewater or soil into the environment. Quality is guaranteed, as harmful chemicals and pesticides cannot be used in an aquaponics system as they would harm the fish,” Mr Sorbello said.

“The by-product of cultivating cannabis using an aquaponic system is that organic fish, such as barramundi and tilapia, are bred and can be marketed to restaurants and markets; we are especially interested in the Asian market. Green Relief produced over 10 tonnes of organic fish in one year in a facility the same size as our planned facility.”

Aquaponics will stand out as a key differentiator for MOCA in the growing Australian cannabis industry, as patients seek out the highest quality products that are also sustainable and eco-conscious.

The benefit of MOCA’s collaboration with Green Relief is that the success of the method of cultivation translating to profits has already been proven in Canada, which is a comparable market to Australia.

Green Relief is also getting behind the project offering strategic support and know-how, which has already been furnished to assist in the establishment of operations in Australia.

Mr Sorbello said he was excited to share Canadian medicinal cannabis grower and producer Green Relief’s innovative cultivation techniques with Australians.

“The important point of difference for aquaponics in cultivating organic cannabis is that if there’s any imbalance in the symbiosis of the fish and the cannabis the fish will perish, giving an immediate signal that something needs to be addressed”

“Quality control is built into the model, so we know we’re always producing the purest product,” Mr Sorbello said.

MOCA has partnered with New Realm Media which owns a powerful suite of websites being developed in partnership with Google. The websites are based on intuitive domain names and strategic partnerships utilising Google’s online platforms. MOCA will be using New Realm Media’s digital infrastructure.

In addition to a unique cultivation system, MOCA has enlisted the expertise of Dr Arno Hazekamp as the Head of Scientific Research. Dr Hazekamp is an internationally acclaimed cannabis researcher, and educator who has been involved with the Dutch medicinal cannabis program since its start in 2003.

Dr Hazekamp will work with MOCA in each phase of research and development, including: providing consultation on growing techniques; genetic strain selection; cultivation; production of medication; and clinical trials.

“Having Dr Hazekamp as part of our team means we can build our scientific nous through continued research and development of our cannabis strains and production to deliver the best health outcomes for our customers,” Mr Sorbello said.

- ENDS -

Watch (video)

Green Relief and the aquaponics system


About Medicinal Organic Cannabis Australia (MOCA)

Medicinal Organic Cannabis Australia (MOCA) is an Australian medical grade cannabis company seeking licenses to undertake research, importation, production and to cultivate cannabis for human medicinal purposes under the Australian Government’s new medical cannabis regulatory system.

MOCA believes in sustainability and this belief is evidenced by the use of the aquaponics system. MOCA is partnering with national and international organisations who share its commitment to the sustainability and socially responsibility of ethical business. Its focus is on people, planet, and profit.

Dr Arno Hazekamp Biography

Dr Arno Hazekamp (1976) is an internationally acclaimed cannabis researcher, and former Head of Research and Education at Bedrocan BV - the official grower of medicinal cannabis in the Netherlands. Arno earned his Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology, followed by an MSc degree in Biopharmaceutical Sciences at Leiden University, the Netherlands. His PhD thesis was focused on the medicinal use of cannabis, and the practical issues that prevent it from becoming part of modern medicine. Since 2002, Arno has been involved in the Dutch national medicinal cannabis program as a specialist in quality control, administration forms and clinical trial design. He is an active international lecturer and medicinal cannabis advocate, and creator of the annual Masterclass Medicinal Cannabis. Currently, Arno works as an independent consultant for the cannabis industry worldwide. His mission is to build a bridge between the needs of patients and the demands of modern medicine through research and education.


Alessandro Sorbello MOCA  Dr Arno Hazekamp MOCA   Aquaponics MOCA
L to R: Alessandro Sorbello, Dr Arno Hazekamp, the aquaponics system

Further information


Media contact

Alexandra Mayhew, Co-CEO

Wells Haslem Mayhew Strategic Public Affairs

0419 311 377


Isabelle Walker, Account Manager

Wells Haslem Mayhew Strategic Public Affairs

0402 298 931

Medicinal Organic Cannabis Australia (MOCA),
Aug 22, 2017, 7:35 PM