An Edmonton man is looking to open one of the city’s first craft cannabis growing operations.
Rob Simonowits had a medical marijuana licence prior to the legalization of cannabis and just got word that he is now approved to move forward with his application to grow up to 2,100 square feet of cannabis for the legal recreational market. That is roughly the maximum growth allowed for a “micro” operation.
“I am destined to be a craft cannabis grower and you know what, I’m doing it,” said Simonowits.
Health Canada has given him the green light to proceed with construction and he is now in the process of getting his development permit from the City of Edmonton, which he currently has conditional approval.
And, with letters of intent from distributors to move his product once he is fully licensed, he hopes to have his product on shelves by next April.
There is at least one other craft grower in Edmonton. Alberta Craft Cannabis is based in the capital and owned by Kelowna-based, publicly traded GTEC Holdings.
Dave Lynn, chief operating officer of GTEC, said his company is larger than a micro-grower, sitting in a “sweet spot” between those small operations and larger producers, such as Aurora Cannabis.
“I do think if you’re a smaller company with the right focus, you have the potential to put out better quality product, but you still have to be able to execute across the entire supply chain to get your product to market,” said Lynn.
Simonowits is hopeful the craft market can grow to the same level as craft breweries in the province.
Health Canada records show there is currently one approved micro-licence in Alberta and nine in Canada.