Medical Cannabis Production Facility coming to Trochu

Trochu Cannabis

An Open House was held in Trochu on Thursday, October 4 to introduce directors of Kannaba Agritech Corp., a private corporation based in Vancouver, B.C. with plans to become a licensed producer under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. Kannaba has entered into a joint venture with Agro-Greens Natural Products, a Health Canada Licensed producer in Saskatchewan and is positioning itself to acquire additional licenses internationally. Kannaba’s joint venture helped streamline the application process but the terms will allow for Kannaba to become a 100% separate entity. Trochu’s Municipal Planning Commission recently approved their building plans for a marijuana production facility, with a license to cultivate, transform and export medical marijuana in both the Canadian and global market (as Europe is anticipated to emerge as the largest market for legal cannabis by 2025, with 55.6% of the market share). Their focus is on high quality medical grade cannabis. The facility will be built within the Town, on 13 acres just south of Sunterra. Supply contracts are to be in place prior to production. Over 110 people were in attendance for the presentation.

Saleem Mohamed is the CEO of Pacific Seaboard Investments and is listed as the founder and Director of Kannaba. Other directors present this evening were Yad Kallu and John Borrell, President of Operations. They spoke about the science and medical uses for cannabis, cultivation challenges (pests, fungus, plant disease), zero irradiation for plants, the size and scope of the facility, and physical security measures that will be in place for entrance to the facility, cameras, personnel security, high-tech key cards and fingerprint scanners, and exacting record keeping. Biographies of management and partners show they are industry veterans with experience in agriculture, micropropagation, botany, biotechnology, compliance, management and finance.

There were a few handouts loaded with information that included ‘Economic Benefits for the Town’, and Cannabis in Alberta (as it becomes legal across Canada on October 17). Licensed growers are strictly regulated by the federal government, with Provincial oversight. it is the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission that directly manages how cannabis gets from the licensed grower to the retailer, for which security will also be very tight. Primary security measures need to be in place prior to being granted a cultivation License by Health Canada.

A brief explanation of the properties of cannabis, the cannabidiol (CBD) was given with one high note being how effective it is in controlling seizures (for example one study showed a young girl, named Charlotte who experienced 300 seizures a week and is now having only 2-3 per week). The subject of cannabis was treated seriously this evening with the recreational side of it played down. With cannabis exhibiting over 85 known chemicals known as cannabidiols, the CBD is a compound that has significant medical benefits to help treat pain, insomnia, and anxiety but does not make people feel stoned. It is the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) that has the ‘relaxing’ property. THC is pre-existing in neurotransmitters in the brain. For 8000 years the plants seeds were used for nutrition before the plant itself became a recreational drug and was further analyzed. Some of its more distinct uses are for reduction and severity of seizures, slows progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduces muscle spasms for those with Multiple Sclerosis, anxiety relief and reduction of nightmares with those of Traumatic Stress Disorder, for reducing nausea (Chemotherapy, AIDS, HIV treatments), as an anti-inflammatory, and in minimizing neurological disorders. Dependency on the cannabis ‘drug’ is very low versus other synthetic drugs, coffee, sugar, heroin, and alcohol. It is notable, that at the moment, Canada’s Federal Drug Act (FDA) has not confirmed that cannabis is safe or effective in the treatment of disease or conditions.

The Kannaba facility in Trochu will handle micropropagation, tissue culture, genetics of new strains, cloning of strains, and employ diagnostic equipment. Construction is said to begin in 2018 and be complete in the first quarter of 2019, but weather could alter some of those plans.

Kannaba Agritech did consider other communities such as Beiseker and Carbon before choosing Trochu. They wanted land on which they could grow vertical, inside a facility.

Plans are underway for Phase 1, a 100,000 sq. ft. cultivation facility and 60,000 sq. ft of canopy, office, five truck doors, an overhead door and six inches of reinforced floors. Building plans include three phases for at least 1,000,000 sq. ft. of cultivation operations, a state of the art lab and an innovative extraction facility. There is one full time employee for every 1000 sq. ft. Phase 1 will start with 50,000 sq. ft. and employ 50 full time staff, and would likely entail shift work. Phase 2 will implement another 337,500 sq. ft. of cultivation space and employ 300 full time. Phase 3 will implement an additional 375,000 sq. ft of cultivation space and employ 350 full time, which equals an expected 700 full time employees. Where the work force will come from is a definite question, if not a concern. Local labor is to be used as much as possible from the initial stages of pre-construction, complete through to cultivation, maintenance, upkeep, harvesting, the construction of a laboratory and extraction facility, and the processing of the crop. Kilograms grown per year begin in year one (2019/2020) with 12,000, expanding to 60,600 in year 2 and eventually reaching 162,859 by year 5.

During the question portion of the evening, the group was asked about water use, water run off, training, production time frame, shift work, waste, and odour. Should a person want more information on the medicinal side of cannabis this website was recommended: