After submitting an application to Health Canada last summer, a new joint-venture medicinal cannabis growing operation in Delta has been given the green light to proceed with the first phase of its plan.
The 1.1 million square-foot cannabis growing facility is conservatively projected to produce 75,000 kg of quality cannabis annually at full production.
Cannabis cultivation will begin in the Delta 3 greenhouse, following the transfer of existing starter plants from Emerald and expects to receive its Sales License by July 1, 2018.
Those behind the operation say their aim is to be one of the most “consistent and reliable” suppliers of quality cannabis products in Canada and internationally, while keeping costs low at an all-in production cost of less than one dollar per gram at full production.
“Our joint venture is well positioned to be a leading supplier in the imminent legal adult-use Canadian cannabis market, with potentially significant benefit to each of our companies and our shareholders,” said Avtar Dhillon, MD, Executive Chairman of Emerald.
With a combination of “in-depth cannabis expertise” from Emerald, large-scale greenhouse growing knowledge from Village Farms, and the expertise of “global agricultural leaders,” the facility was configured to enable weekly harvesting year-round, he added.
A “challenging proposition”
Growing any crop on a large scale and delivering a consistent product at a competitive price is “an extremely challenging proposition for even the most experienced agricultural producers,” said Michael DeGiglio, CEO of Village Farms International.
The goal of the joint venture, he said, “is to set the standard in this regard in the Canadian cannabis industry and establish itself as a preferred supplier for both the short – and long –terms.”
In addition to ramping up production this year, the venture will “focus on product development and developing its marketing strategy to become a vertically integrated leader in the Canadian cannabis market.”
Conversion of the first 250,000 square-foot section of the 1.1 million square-foot Delta 3 greenhouse, to cannabis production is substantially complete and is expected to commence production next month.
The entire facility is expected to be running at full production in 2019.