South of Scotland Enterprise invests £690,000 to develop Scotland’s first Medical Cannabis Farm

South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) has announced its latest capital investment to assist the local economy and help create new jobs in Dumfries & Galloway.

Hilltop Leaf Limited (Hilltop) is a private Medicinal Cannabis cultivation and extraction business which aims to provide an alternative plant based clinical treatment to synthetic pharmaceuticals. 

Founders of Hilltop, entrepreneurs William Ewart, Neil Ewart and Hamish Clegg have been given planning permission to build a secure private Medicinal Cannabis cultivation and extraction business in a rural area of Southern Scotland. South of Scotland Enterprise recently awarded Hilltop a £690,000 capital investment to help toward the capital costs associated with the construction.

Neil Ewart, Director, Chairman, and co-founder of Hilltop said: "SOSE has enabled us to push forward with our ambitious project, despite the current pandemic challenges, with construction work already underway for an 11,000 sqm facility to be built by the end of March. We have been incredibly lucky to have this support in addition to the tireless work from our diverse team that has come together to create this exciting business. We have plans to expand the Hilltop team with further external funding to provide over 50 jobs in the local area ranging from Technical Quality Assurance roles to agricultural labour and wider operational support."

Hamish Clegg, Director, CEO and co-founder of Hilltop said: "Our SOSE investment has provided us with early risk capital and support to materially de-risk the project. This puts us in an excellent position to attract the necessary private investment to ensure the significant potential is realised for our growing list of stakeholders. We aim to provide an affordable and widely available solution to patients suffering from a range of conditions from chronic pain to severe epilepsy, easing pressure on the NHS. We hope to rival other countries such as Canada, Germany, and Israel where the medical cannabis industry is already well established."

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise said: "We are delighted to provide support to Hilltop at their early growth stage of this pioneering medicinal business. This is an exciting project and offers a fantastic opportunity for Hilltop to help the rural economy of Dumfries & Galloway by creating local jobs and supporting existing businesses. How we treat people matters to us, and we want to ensure this runs through our region. As a Living Wage and Fair Work employer, Hilltop reflects these values. SOSE is here to establish the South of Scotland as a centre of opportunity, innovation and growth and we are delighted to support Hilltop Leaf on their journey ahead."