A Ladner greenhouse could begin cannabis production by 2018, thanks to a joint venture between greenhouse-producer Village Farms International and medical marijuana producer Emerald Health Therapeutics announced on June 6.
Village Farms will be converting a 25 acre greenhouse on Ladner Trunk Road to a medical marijuana production facility. Emerald Health Therapeutics is putting forward $20 million to fund the conversion of the greenhouse, which Village Farms CEO Michael DeGiglio said could be completed by 2018.
Once completed, the greenhouse could yield more than 75,000 kilograms of marijuana every year.
“The joint venture’s clearly well positioned to address the near-term supply gap and establish ourselves for the long-term as a reliable, large-scale, high-quality producer,” DeGiglio said in a media conference call on June 7.
In the future, the joint venture could expand to two additional greenhouses, one 25 acre and one 60 acre. The combined output of all three Delta greenhouses could yield 300,000 kilograms of marijuana annually.
The production of cannabis could generate 10 to 15 times the profit of Village Farms’ current Canadian vegetable production, according to the June 6 press release.
The two companies have yet to obtain a medical marijuana production licence from Health Canada, a process that could take more than a year according to Health Canada’s website.
Medical marijuana production is allowed in the agricultural land reserve without an application to council.
Delta council attempted to change that zoning bylaw in 2014 to prohibit medical marijuana production in all zones, only allowing facilities to be approved on a case-by-case basis. This bylaw change was denied by the province.
Currently, medical marijuana facilities in the agricultural land reserve must follow sitpulations set out by the provincial government in June 2014. In Delta, facilities are considered on a case-by-case basis in other zones.
Although the companies are beginning with medical marijuana, the potential decriminalization of cannabis by the federal government could see the joint venture producing recreational marijuana as well.