Two Canadian companies have announced plans to invest in Victoria’s medicinal cannabis industry.

Fast-growing startup Cannatrek will invest $30 million to expand its production and manufacturing capacity in Victoria and create up to 75 new jobs in Shepparton and La Trobe University.

Cannatrek is also working towards a research and education partnership with La Trobe.

Cronos Australia will also set up its Asia-Pacific headquarters and establish a state-of-the-art research and development centre in Victoria, creating up to 120 jobs.

In hosting Cronos Australia’s Asia-Pacific research and development centre alongside Spectrum Cannabis Australia and Cann Group’s medicinal cannabis operations, Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes said Victoria was quickly cementing its position as the southern hemisphere’s hub for cultivation and production of high quality medicinal cannabis products.

‘We’re so proud to be part of this groundbreaking industry that is creating hundreds of jobs and providing lifesaving treatment to patients who need it most,’ she said on Monday.

Victoria in 2016 was the first state in Australia to legalise access to medicinal cannabis for patients in exceptional circumstances.