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CAN (BC): Village Farms starts 1.1 million sq.ft. cannabis cultivation

Health Canada has issued a Cultivation Licence for the Emerald Health Therapeutics and Village Farms co-owned Delta 3 greenhouse operation under Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. This 1.1 million ft2 cannabis growing facility is located in Delta, BC, and is conservatively projected to produce 75,000 kg of quality cannabis annually at full production.

The Joint Venture will immediately begin cultivating cannabis in the Delta 3 greenhouse following the transfer of existing starter plants from Emerald and expects to receive its Sales License under ACMPR by July 1, 2018.

“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 Emerald’s in-depth cannabis expertise, Village Farms’ know-how based on innumerable crop cycles over 30 years of large-scale greenhouse growing, and working with global agricultural leaders and high-tech facilities and systems experts, we configured this greenhouse for continuous weekly harvesting year-round, maximum operating efficiencies, and flexibility to adapt to an evolving market. We are accomplishing this on a very capital-efficient basis.”

“Growing any agricultural crop on a large scale and repeatedly delivering expected quantities and consistent quality, with full regulatory compliance, at a competitive price is an extremely challenging proposition for even the most experienced agricultural producers. The goal is for the Joint Venture 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,” said Michael DeGiglio, CEO, Village Farms International. “In addition to production ramp-up, in 2018 the Joint Venture will focus on product development and developing its marketing strategy to become a vertically integrated leader in the Canadian cannabis market.”

The Joint Venture is converting the Delta 3 greenhouse operation to cannabis production with attention to the growing environment and systems, processing areas, and production ramp-up, with a particular focus on management of climate and contaminants, optimizing yield, maximizing efficiencies, and achieving continuous year-round production. Key elements of the design, conversion, and operations include:
  • Growing system with automation proven in different crops to provide optimal efficiencies;
  • HVAC systems reflecting hundreds of aggregate years of climate management experience, with technically advanced data systems;
  • High-tech light deprivation and light supplementation systems with individual control of over 15 growing zones within the 1.1 million ft2 footprint;
  • Fully automated 90,000 square feet nursery capable of supplying Delta 3 (as well as the 1.1 million ft2 Delta 2 facility should the Joint Venture exercise its option to purchase that facility, as described below);
  • State of the art drying, trimming and packaging areas;
  • Core upgrades to facility infrastructure;
  • Use of an established labour force and proprietary labour tracking systems; and,
  • Secure supply of low-cost electricity from BC Hydro sufficient to power Delta 3 at full production (and, if required, to power the Delta 2 facility at full production).
Conversion of the first 250,000 ft2 section of the 1.1 million ft2 Delta 3 greenhouse to cannabis production is substantially complete and is expected to commence production in April 2018. Senior growing and operational personnel, including the established team transferred from Village Farms, are in place for production ramp up. Conversion of the remainder of the 1.1 million ft2 is underway and the entire facility is expected to be in production in 2019.

The Joint Venture holds options on two additional greenhouses owned by Village Farms (Delta 2 and Delta 1, with 1.1 million ft2 and 2.6 million ft2 of growing capacity, respectively). Exercising these options would expand the Joint Venture’s production facility to 4.8 million ft2 and make it one of the largest cannabis producers in Canada.

For more information:
Village Farms

Emerald Health Therapeutics

Publication date: 3/6/2018



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