AgraFlora gets Health Canada licence for huge Delta pot greenhouse

AgraFlora Organics International Inc. has announced it has been awarded a license from Health Canada, under the industrial hemp regulations of the Cannabis Act, for its flagship 2.2-million-square-foot Delta Greenhouse Complex.

AgraFlora has a partnership with the huge Houweling Nurseries complex on 64th Street.

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The retrofit of the Houweling greenhouse is taking place over several phases. The 49-acre facility will be the second largest cannabis greenhouse facility under glass in Canada among those that are currently built. The biggest is an Ontario facility owned by Canopy Growth Corp., the world’s largest cannabis company. Canopy also has a separate large-scale greenhouse operation on Hornby Drive in East Delta.

The Houweling operation will also be connected to an array of products, such as CBD-infused pain relief creams and roll-ons, organic cosmetics, shampoos and conditioners, as well as such edible snacks as gummies.

Meanwhile, Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. recently announced it received its initial cultivation licence from Health Canada for a new organic cannabis growing facility in Richmond. That organic cannabis the operation will comprise two 78,000-square-foot-greenhouses and 12 acres (about 500,000-square-feet) of outdoor cultivation, with potential for an additional 12 acres. The initial license permits cultivation in an initial 15,000-square-feet of greenhouse area.

“This site was purposefully designed for organic cultivation with the goal to exceed 30,000 kg of annual production, assuming licensing of the entire indoor and outdoor production area,” the company stated in a news release.

Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc. also has joint venture with the huge Village Farms greenhouse in East Ladner, called Pure Sunfarms.

A special committee appointed by the province to look at how to revitalize the Agricultural Land Reserve and Agricultural Land Commission recommended the province implement a moratorium on all non-soil bound cannabis production facilities in the ALR.

“Cannabis is a new and relatively unknown industry supported by substantial capital investment. The potential impacts of the cannabis industry on the ALR are likely to be significant and are not yet fully understood. The projected impacts of the recreational cannabis industry on the ALR may be substantial due to the number and scale of the industrial structures (often in excess of 1,000,000 ft2) both in place and proposed. Additionally, cannabis companies may experience an initial boom and bust cycle, which could result in large industrial structures being abandoned in the ALR, thus alienating the use of the land for soil based agriculture and potentially being re-purposed for generic industrial uses,” the committee’s final report explains.

The province said local governments are now are able to prohibit cannabis production in the ALR within their communities, unless “it is grown in ways that preserve the productive capacity of agricultural land.”

Communities, including Delta, have called on the government to restrict them to industrial zones.

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