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Cannabis company has growth plans

A Brantford-based medical marijuana company is growing its business locally and beyond with the purchase of a modern new greenhouse in Beamsville.
NewStrike, which operates Up Cannabis Inc., has received permission from Health Canada to increase production at its Brantford facility.
“Prior to the amendment to the licence our Brantford plant could only produce 100 kg. of dried cannabis per year,” said Jennifer Maccarone, the company’s vice-president of regulatory and governmental affairs. “Now our production is only limited by the security level of our vault, which can store a maximum of 625 kg of dried cannabis at any one time.”
The local Up Cannabis facility is 14,200 square feet over two floors and is located in an industrial area. The company received its license from Health Canada to start producing medical marijuana at its Brantford facility in December and production started in January.
The license held by Up Cannabis has also been amended to allow the production of cannabis seeds and oils at the facility. Plans call for production to begin as soon as possible, Maccarone said.
“As soon as we get our equipment in, we’re ready to move into production, so in the very near term,” Maccarone said. “Our plan is to incorporate oil production into our current production stream, so we plan to continue producing dried cannabis in Brantford for the foreseeable future.”
The move to cannabis oil production will add a minimum of three full-time highly-skilled professionals to the operation whose focus will be on oil production. The addition of new staff will bring to 25 the number of people working at the Brantford facility.
The company has also announced its purchase of a 200,000-square-foot facility in Beamsville from Westbrook Greenhouses Ltd. for just over $7 million. The new facility will enable Up Cannabis to increase its annual production of cannabis.
“The Niagara acquisition is a huge step forward in the realization of the company’s growth strategy,” Jay Wilgar, CEO of Newstrike, the parent company of Up Cannabis, said in a statement. “It adds a potential five-fold increase in cultivation capacity and will introduce economies of scale into our operations.”
There will be approximately
100 full-time positions at the
facility in addition to local job generation through construction, Wilgar said.
The Beamsville greenhouse sits on a 16.6-acre parcel of land with the potential of adding another 140,000-square-feet of production space. If the company is able to realize that potential, it would be capable of producing about 25,000 kg a year.
The company has also purchased a facility in Creemore, in Simcoe County, north of Toronto.
Newstrike, the parent company of Up Cannabis plans to develop a diverse network of cannabis brands that meets the needs of medical clients and eventually,
as the law allows, adult consumers. More information about the
company can be found online at www.newstrike.ca.
In May, it was announced that iconic Canadian band The Tragically Hip has become a partner and investor with the company.
At that time, the band said
it likes Newstrike because the company had “hired preeminent scientists and growers, developed large, well-structured sites and have the wherewithal and expertise to take this on.”
As well, the band, noted in a statement, that medical cannabis is legal in Canada, and it already benefits the “health and well-being of many of our fellow Canadians.”
The federal government plans to make cannabis legal for recreational use on July 1, 2018.
Vball@postmedia.com
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