Location, location, location.
Industrial land just past the Trail airport, and a high-end facility that sits on it, is considered a flagship site for the production of medical marijuana, says Bob Marsh from Worldwide Marijuana Inc. (WMI).
Marsh, WMI’s president and chief operating officer (CEO), confirmed that the company is slated to close the $2.2 million sale of the 5N Plus building, located on Industrial Road, by Feb. 27.
“The facility is absolutely great in terms of size, and in terms of zoning and positioning,” Marsh told the Trail Times by phone this week. “My visits made me see that it is basically configured in the best strategic location with respect to being a benign facility to grow medical marijuana.”
The closing date was pushed back from December while WMI worked through the myriad of Health Canada issues and finances, he explained.
“We don’t believe in doing anything unless it’s a plan of success for what we are trying to achieve,” said Marsh. “But all things going well, the anticipated goal is to have ownership by the end of February and then we will be new neighbours.”
Taking over the 46,000-square foot structure is only the first step, so don’t expect production lines to roll out anytime soon.
Once the company takes ownership of 5N Plus, plans include a re-tooling of the interior to support the various stages of horticulture from seed to growing, and a reconfigure of office and meeting room spaces.
After that, comes the third phase of operation, which is commercial production of the product under the federal Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).
“The normal Health Canada applicant process is to first try and get a facility to grow in, and 5N could represent that,” explained Marsh. “But Worldwide Marijuana doesn’t actually have its own application for that building.”
Instead, his business strategy to launch a medical marijuana production facility is threefold.
The plan involves either partnering or purchasing LPs (licence to produce) from applicants who find themselves challenged by Health Canada’s complex submission process to obtain a commercial licence.
“My analysis of the MMPR created by Health Canada has lead us to believe that WMI’s business objectives created the opportunity for us to enter into joint ventures or acquisition of applicants,” he explained.
“I am in the process of creating a cooperative across Canada and I am acquiring applications that will turn into LPs,” he added. “I am doing that from Victoria to Nova Scotia.”
Specifically, WMI is pursuing applicants, either person or company, who have the knowledge to grow medical marijuana but lack business acumen with the commercial market sector; have the finances and business sense for the commercial market but don’t have the knowledge to grow; and those can’t meet business objectives related to lack of expansion capital.
“In most cases the applicants have been delayed for so long that they need money to accomplish those objectives,” said Marsh. “In all cases there is tremendous opportunity for investing, assisting and cooperating with the WMI team.”
The federal government put an end to mom-and-pop pot farms almost 12 months ago, with new legislation that grew the medical marijuana industry into a commercially licensed business.
Under the Health Canada licensing process for medical marijuana facilities, the proponent has to provide notice to the local government, in this case the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), and the local RCMP detachment of their intent to submit an application.
To date, the RDKB hasn’t received formal notice form the group, according to Mark Andison, RDKB’s general operations manager.
However, Phil Hahn, WMI’s realty scout, confirmed the company had done due diligence with local law enforcement following a visit to Trail.
“We are not bringing in a licence right away, rather we are planning for a licence to come from a place where there might not necessarily be building,” Marsh clarified. “We have the administration to submit a “go fast” application that can be moved from another place to Trail,” he continued. “And we can avoid spending multimillions to build a facility that we might not need down the road. Trail already offers a whole lot of access for us.”
WMI, specializes in researching innovative and effective use of medical marijuana in patients treatment plans, according to the business’ website.
The company has developed the proprietary strain “BCBB” which is used in a cream formula for the treatment of muscle trauma.