Article by Dale Carruthers, London Free Press
Canada’s first crop of commercially grown outdoor cannabis could sprout from the ground of a former organic farm in Southwestern Ontario this year.
Marijuana producer 48North has applied for an outdoor cultivation licence — the only cannabis company to do since the government approved outdoor growing in the summer — to plant marijuana on its 40-hectare property outside of Brantford in one of the nation’s richest farm belts.
Company co-chief executive Jeannette VanderMarel, who hails from a family of apple producers, says she’s drawing on her agricultural background for the endeavour.
“Basically, I’m planning this like an orchard,” she said, adding work on the operation is well underway while the company awaits approval from Health Canada.
“I know that I need to work the ground this fall in order to have it ready for spring planting.”
The outdoor operation would yield 40,000 kilograms of cannabis a year, VanderMarel said. By comparison, 48North’s 4,230-square-metre indoor site in Brantford, which includes warehouse operations, harvests 1,000 kg a year and its 3,780-square-metre Kirkland Lake facility produces around 2,500 kg a year.