One company in Winfield is open for business in the cannabis industry.
Valens Argitech Ltd. (a subsidiary of Valens GroWorks Corp.) received a license from Health Canada last week, enabling it to grow, distribute and conduct research with marijuana.
The license allows the company to produce cannabis for research purposes and acts like a pharmacy, said CEO Tyler Robson. The company is able to grow and sell plants but also conducts research, aids in clinical trials, tests soil treatment and more.
“We’re doing a whole spectrum of things rather than just for profit,” he said. “We want to bring credibility to the industry.”
Robson would like to see cannabis legalized.
“I’m a huge advocate for the cannabis industry and legalization, I believe there’s a lot of benefits out there. If teenagers and adults want to use cannabis recreationally, I think there’s a lot worse things you can do than smoke marijuana,” he said.
The company started preparing for the license in September, 2013 which included multiple steps from Health Canada.
“But again there’s no guarantee (you’ll get the license) at the end of the day,” said Robson, who was nervous about waiting for the license.
President and chief science officer Rob O’Brien said the company is first going to focus on growing techniques to optimize the production of the plant.
The facility cost $5 million to build, with a special vault being $800,000 alone. The vault is full of sensors and cameras, reinforced steel doors and concrete walls. Key cards are big factor for workers, with multiple doors requiring security codes and key entries.
The 17,000-square-foot facility sits on two acres of land, which is guarded by barb-wire/razor-wire fencing and 105 cameras.
It houses five growing rooms, a main extract room, labs and office space and uses around 800 amps of electricity at any given time, said Robson. A regular house may use 40 amps, he said.
The company will have 50 plants within the next week and can house a total of 4,823 plants.
The plants will be grown in one of many growing rooms, which mimic sunlight with bright light bulbs.
After the female strain of plants bud, like when an apple grows on the tree, the buds will be harvested, said Robson. The facility has a drying room, and an extraction room where Valens uses Carbon Dioxide to create oil.