Another cannabis giant plants roots in CA-ON

12-04-2019    01:30   |    Doug Schmidt/Windsor Star

The already bustling cannabis scene concentrated in Essex County’s southeastern corner is getting another major addition this spring with pot company PharmHouse Inc. set to begin growing medical marijuana at a new $150-million operation in Leamington.

In anticipation of soon getting its final Health Canada approval to begin production, the company, affiliated with Canopy Growth, the nation’s largest pot company, is hosting a jobs fair next month to hire as many as 100 employees.

“What we are doing in cannabis is an absolute game-changer,” said PharmHouse human resources manager Lisa Carr.

General manager Tony Abbas, currently overseeing construction of a facility expected to have 1.3 million square feet (30 acres or 12 hectares) of greenhouse area under glass by the end of the year, said the company could employ 180 people in Leamington by the end of 2019.

The company’s entire operation, from production, harvesting and processing to extracting and packaging, will be located here, including research on extracts and edibles once Health Canada, as expected, legalizes such products by the fall. PharmHouse’s focus will be on the medical cannabis market, and Abbas said the company already has guaranteed national and international sales agreements for half its planned output.

Located on Mersea Road 11 off Highway 77, PharmHouse is in the same rural neighbourhood north of Leamington’s downtown as similar large-scale cannabis greenhouse operations Aphria Diamond and a joint venture between grower Peter Quiring and the Auxly Cannabis Group, both in the 32-acre range and both starting production this year.

Those three greenhouse complexes alone will add hundreds of tonnes of product annually to Canada’s marijuana market, which, since legalization last October, has suffered from supply challenges, the shortfall being satisfied by the black market.

PharmHouse was formed a year ago as a joint venture between an unnamed North American greenhouse produce conglomerate and Canopy Rivers, the investment arm of Canopy Growth Corp. In one of the largest such deals to date in the cannabis sector, two of Canada’s biggest banks, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Bank of Montreal, are loaning PharmHouse $80 million for its startup.

Click here to read the complete article at Windsor Star.

Photo credit: Cannabis Tours via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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