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Published: 14 Oct 2021

Nuffield Scholar 2022 - Max Edgley

Max Edgley will study the opportunities for medicinal cannabis producers in Australia, thanks to a Nuffield Scholarship supported by JM Roberts Charitable Trust and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture.

Max Edgley will study the opportunities for medicinal cannabis producers in Australia, thanks to a Nuffield Scholarship supported by JM Roberts Charitable Trust and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture.

​As the cultivation manager at one of Australia’s largest medicinal cannabis producers and manufacturers, Tasmanian Botanics Pty Ltd, Max oversees all aspects of the plants’ cultivation.

“The medicinal cannabis industry in Australia is in its infancy, with only a handful of companies operating at a commercial level,” Max says.

“Though the industry is small and lacks a well-resourced research organisation, I am active in discussions with professionals within the industry to learn of challenges faced by other producers and the industry as a whole.”

Max highlights many opportunities for the industry, including using a mix of indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse cultivation; incorporating high-tech horticulture techniques; and automating cannabis-specific cultivation procedures. He also suggests that investigating the usage of supplemental lighting, climatic controls and cultivar selection can maximise yields.

Developing and optimising postharvest procedures, breeding new genetics to drive cannabis yields, and overcoming regulatory challenges will be critical to his research.

​Max will travel to Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain as they are key countries that have a more mature medicinal cannabis industry than Australia. Through this travel, Max hopes to help the Australian industry to become globally competitive.

“The findings of this study will help contribute to the rapid growth of the industry over the next decade,” he says.

Professor Michael Rose, TIA Director, said TIA was proud to partner with the JM Roberts Charitable Trust to sponsor a Nuffield Scholarship to progress the sustainable growth of Tasmania’s agriculture sector.

“Max is a fantastic example of an emerging agricultural leader and his research will help to support the medicinal cannabis industry in Tasmania and more widely around Australia,” Professor Rose said.

“TIA will work closely with Max by providing mentoring, support and opportunities for his findings to inform research and policy through lectures, seminars and discussions with industry and other stakeholders.”

Max Edgley’s Nuffield Scholarship is made possible with the generous support of the JM Roberts Charitable Trust and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture.

For more information about the program, visit the Nuffield Australia website.