Massive B.C. greenhouses converted to grow pot
Published Saturday, February 17, 2018 7:34PM PST
Last Updated Sunday, February 18, 2018 8:10PM PST
A massive set of greenhouses in B.C.'s Lower Mainland that used to grow bell peppers have been transformed into what operators are calling the largest licened cannabis production facility in the world.
A shipment of cannabis plant clones arrived at YVR airport Saturday morning bound for the 1.3 million square foot plant in Langley.
"Today is a big day for us. In this big pristine greenhouse we're going to be loading it up with cannabis clones," said Jordan Sinclair, director of communications for Canopy Growth. "All this transformation has happened in just a couple short months."
The joint venture between Canopy Growth and BC Tweed just got its licence approved on Friday afternoon. They loaded clippings from mature plants in Smith Falls, Ont. onto a chartered Boeing 767 bound for B.C. on an overnight flight.
Once the clones arrived, workers clad in gowns and hairnets transplanted them into pots of soil to grow under specially calibrated lights.
"We have lights and black out shades so it's the technology meets Mother Nature and gives us a perfect environment," said Victor Krahn with BC Tweed.
Although recreational pot won't be legal in Canada until late summer, the companies are already gearing up for it.
"You have to get going now if you want to be ready by day one," Sinclair said.
Their first harvest is expected in late spring.
They have five distribution deals with provinces that have announced their legalization framework so far.
The marijuana grown in the Langley plant as well as a second site in Delta that will begin production later this year will be sold in both the medical and recreational markets, Sinclair said.
The precious crop is secured with fences, cameras and security checks like key cards and biometric information to access the production facility.
As for the smell, Sinclair said they have "controls in place."
The greenhouses needed millions of dollars in investment to transform them to be ready to meet the regulations that govern cannabis productions. The people behind the conversion, however, are only looking forward.
"If there's a pepper shortage next year, we apologize," Sinclair joked.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Michele Brunoro