polo ralph laren GrenEx licensed as first Edmonton cannabis company
After years of preparation, an Edmonton company has finally received a licence to start operating the city first medical cannabis grow op.
GrenEx Pharms Inc. has spent about $4 million developing a 930 square metre marijuana cultivation facility inside a former south Edmonton warehouse, but Health Canada only issued a licence Sept. 29 after initially approving the proposal in 2013.
been sitting empty for two years almost completely built out Health Canada doesn want an oversupply, to prevent illicit activity, so they want production to meet demand, GrenEx chief executive John Simon said during a tour of the site.
so many opportunities in this business for medical products, formulations, export, but they not open to the company until you get that licence. We in the club now, so I think we OK with whatever it took to get here. now has four of Canada 64 licensed producers.
Simon, who has a background in pharmaceutical manufacturing, quality assurance and regulatory affairs, expects to produce 1,000 kg of dried bud a year once the plant is in full operation next spring.
That output could be worth $10 million annually, not bad for a company with a half dozen employees owned by two Edmonton men Simon wouldn identify.
He agrees it could be a profitable field.
hope it is. It tough to get to this point. There are a lot of costs to remain compliant. We talk about the effort to get the licence and maintain the licence, he said.
is another piece of this we will have to do something about. envisions filling a cannabis niche, growing pot at a pharmaceutical standard containing moderate levels of psychoactive THC to avoid adverse reactions among customers and possibly selling to other companies rather than the public.
They likely carry strains without the strong, distinctive marijuana odour.
doesn have to be skunky weed. There some stuff that smells like lemons,
some nice fragrant stuff. low profile facility there isn even a GrenEx sign outside contains rooms with rows of aeroponic pots for propagating cuttings from mother plants, growing them and producing flowers to be dried and sold.
No dirt means fewer pests and less need for pesticides.
Lighting is crucial. While dim green bulbs illuminate some spaces so the omnipresent security cameras can keep an eye on the stock without starting growth, the bloom room is lit to trigger flowering with yellowish 1,000 watt metal halide lamps so bright the workers need sunglasses.
The mother room at GrenEx Pharms, the first company to have a licensed medical cannabis facility in Edmonton.
Elsewhere in the one storey building, charcoal filters remove the bud bouquet and other aromas before air is vented outside.
The IT room has 3.2 petabytes, or roughly 3,200 terabytes, of data storage because the 24/7 security video must be saved for two years.
One hallway contains a vault large enough to hold $6.2 million worth of product.
Of course, people looking for a buzz will likely be a huge market once Canada legalizes recreational pot next July, but Simon also sees potential selling vaporizers and other devices, as well as exporting overseas marijuana is allowed in several American states, but they can import it.
He met with Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission officials last week to discuss Alberta planned retail system, which he hopes relies on private companies rather than government stores.
Although other firms are developing local growing facilities, Simon is happy his group received its licence before anyone else.
from Edmonton. We live in Edmonton. Being first in Edmonton, there a lot of pride in being able to do that, he says, adding their pioneering position probably won provide much of a competitive advantage.