Construction of Burns Lake-based Nations Cannabis’s plant is underway and is expected to be completed in the spring.
The company held its groundbreaking ceremony on April 30 — just over six months after cannabis was legalized in Canada — as it moved forward with its plan to open a 50,000-square-foot production facility near Decker Lake.
Nations Cannabis’ Co-Founder and Executive Chair Wesley Sam said 2019 has been “an exciting year” for the company.
“We are nearing the end of construction of our primary cultivation facility and we continue to make our way through the federal licensing process,” said Sam, noting the walls of the facility are currently going up and interior work will begin shortly after that.
Construction of the $12-million facility, which began in the summer after structures remaining from the old Burns Lake Specialty Wood business were torn down, was originally expected to be completed in the fall of 2019.
“Like many construction projects, the timing can be subject to change based on access to supplies, equipment, weather or a host of other factors,” stated the company in an email.
Sam said the company will not start growing cannabis until the construction of the facility is complete, noting that’s a federal licensing process requirement.
“It’s at that point we will be in a position to begin to grow a sample for Health Canada’s approval, which will then bring us to the final stage of the approval process — likely in late spring or early summer of 2020,” said Sam.
When operating at full capacity, the company expects to employ about 40 workers, with positions in fields such as horticulture, packaging, mechanical and quality assurance.
“The New Year is one that everyone involved in our company eagerly awaits as our vision materializes and we can actually see some tangible benefits for Nations [Cannabis] and for the community,” said Sam, referring to job creation and other benefits such as the diversification of the local economy.
The company will sell most of its harvest to the provincial government, which will then pass it to onto stores that have licences to sell cannabis. The remainder will be made into cannabidiol (CBD) oil, and sold to medical cannabis users.