Canada’s first craft cannabis park is one step closer to becoming a reality in Castlegar as the city and developer have finalized a lease agreement.
Cannabis West Development Corporation is moving forward with plans to develop the facility on the West Kootenay Regional Airport lands.
The park is expected to provide a home to many of the country’s top cannabis brands.
Cannabis West says this will include many local cultivators who have long been seeking a means to transition their “grey market” businesses into full compliance.
“Consumers across Canada will now have access to premium quality Kootenay grown craft cannabis,” says Cannabis West.
“Producers are unable to produce the high-quality cannabis and cannabis-based medications that will be produced within the Castlegar park.”
Cannabis West says its business model is built on the skill set that many local cultivators have been perfecting for decades and the understanding that premium quality cannabis isn’t as easy to cultivate as many people assume.
All Cannabis West park tenants will be proven masters of the craft with a long track record of cultivating world-renowned cannabis and cannabis-based products.
Cannabis West chief executive officer Mike Hansen says that the West Kootenay was an obvious choice for the facility.
“There are so many great growers in the Kootenays and we’re happy to be able to provide a perfect home for their businesses. Additionally, the local government is very supportive, forward thinking, and understands that many talented people live in the region,” said Hansen.
“We are very pleased to be working in such a great community.”
Hansen said the company would like to see units open before the end of 2020 and will develop the park in phases. The first phase of the project will consist of 10 units and will occupy three acres of land.
Pre-construction is expected to begin as soon as the weather permits, and local trades and labour will be utilized whenever possible.
Once open, Hansen estimates that phase one could bring in as many as 30 to 50 full-time employees and 50 to 80 part-time employees. Phase two and three of the project will add an additional 50-60 units, 180 to 300 full-time employees, and up to 420 part-time employees.
After developing the property, Cannabis West will lease and sell individual cultivation units to independent craft growers operating with a micro-cultivation licence. Cannabis West will provide maintenance and security for the overall park, and all the park tenants operations will be licensed and regulated by Health Canada.
Each 7,000 square foot unit will be independent of one another and operate as standalone facilities. Tenants will own their own intellectual property, brand and reputation. Cannabis West plans to operate about 20 per cent of the units itself.