By Mark Squibb | Vol. 7 No. 4 (February 28 2019)
A proposal for a 10,200 square metre licensed cannabis production facility has passed the provincial government's environmental assessment review, pending submission - and approval - of a women's employment plan, a condition frequently attached to applications lately by the province.
Atlantic Cultivation, whose head office is located in St. John's, submitted its proposal Dec. 14, 2018. It outlined the construction of a two-storey, steel-frame production facility at 138 Clyde Avenue in the Donovan's Industrial Park.
The building will be accessible by Clyde Avenue and Glencoe Drive, and will house 31 grow rooms.
Plants will be grown aeroponically, meaning the plants will not be grown in soil and will be sprayed or misted with a nutrient water mix.
An industrial style chain-link, barbed wire fence will surround the property.
The proposal said the facility is expected to create approximately 103 jobs, including roughly 80 full-time permanent positions.
Chief Operating Officer Christopher Crosbie said that within a year or two of operation, he hopes this number would rise to 115-120.
The business also has ties to Canada's west coast.
Vancouver based Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. announced that it had entered into an agreement with Atlantic Cultivation in Oct., 2018 (roughly two months before Atlantic Cultivation submitted its proposal for an environmental assessment), which will see Auxly invest $2.5 million in exchange for a 50 per cent equity stake in Atlantic Cultivation and a long term right to purchase up to 30 per cent of dried cannabis and cannabis trim produced at the proposed Mount Pearl facility.
"They have a large investment in Atlantic Canada, and that meant a lot for me and the Atlantic Cultivation team," explained Crosbie,who cited Auxly's involvement with other cannabis companies, such as Robinson's Cannabis Inc. in Nova Scotia and Dosecann Inc. in PEI.
The City of Mount Pearl is also high on the project.
"We are very supportive from an economic development point of view. It maintains our tax base and on top of it all it diversifies our economy," said Mayor Dave Aker, who noted that at this stage of development, the City has not yet approved occupancy permits for the business.
Construction is scheduled to begin in April with a Health Canada inspection set for the fall of 2020. Pending receipt of a Health Canada license, production is set to begin by year end of 2021.