The number of licensed producers (LPs) in Canada continues to spike as the country moves towards the legalization of non-medical cannabis in 2018.
Currently, there are 80 LPs listed on the federal government’s website, with more than half located in Ontario. As the market begins to crowd, we’ve listed some notable LPs you’ll want to know about.
7 Acres was originally started by Peter Herburger, when he began cultivating cannabis for his daughter, who suffered from chronic pain. In 2016, he turned his operation into an LP. The company has since partnered with Supreme Pharmaceuticals, headed by John Fowler, and its flagship facility is based in Kincardine, Ontario. Fowler is deeply embedded in the cannabis sector, having worked as a lawyer on cases relating to patient’s rights. He even assisted in the groundbreaking case, R v. Mernagh at the Ontario Court of Appeal.
Cannimed’s roots run deep in Canada’s medicinal marijuana history. Its parent company, Prairie Plant Systems, was the sole supplier of medicinal marijuana to Health Canada between 2000–2013. In November, Cannimed announced it would acquire Newstrike Resources Ltd., an LP that partnered with iconic Canadian band The Tragically Hip. The Saskatoon-based producer recently made headlines after requesting regulatory action after a so-called hostile takeover attempt by Aurora Cannabis.
Canada’s largest LP, Canopy Growth, is based in Smith Falls, Ontario. It recently made a deal with the government of Newfoundland and Labrador to exclusively supply product to the province. As a result, the company is building a facility there which has the potential to yield 12,000 kg of cannabis per year. The move will also bring 145 jobs to the province. Canopy Growth is also known for its partnership with rapper Snoop Dogg, who sells his Leafs by Snoop line through the company’s subsidiary, Tweed.
When Cronos CEO Mike Gorenstein worked on Wall Street, he spent most of his free time researching the growing cannabis market. He decided to go all in, but focused on the Canadian market. Since the country was moving towards legalization, he felt there was less risk than in the U.S., where cannabis is still illegal federally, despite several states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana sales. Cronos’ portfolio includes Kelowna’s OGBC on the recreational side, and Peace Natural on the medicinal side. The Stayner, Ontario-based facilities are now the town’s main employer.
From pod to bud, this Winnipeg-based company stands out for its unique growing method. Founded by father and son team Bill and John Arbuthnot, Delta 9 Cannabis is the fourth LP of medicinal marijuana in Canada. They’re known for their grow-pod method of growing, which involves plants cultivated and harvested in shipping containers.
If you’re looking for advanced growing technology, look no further than this Hamilton-based LP. It’s the only facility in North America to use a farming technique called aquaponics. The system mixes aquaculture with hydroponics in a symbiotic environment. It works on waste produced by 1,200 fish, which is filtered and then enriched with growth-friendly nitrates that are then circulated through the plants.
This Moncton-based producer will be supplying the province of New Brunswick with approximately five million grams of adult-use recreational marijuana per year. The company is also committed to keeping the community safe. In September, Organigram announced a $20,000 investment in the fight against Canada’s opioid crisis, with money going towards 500 naloxone kits. Its Chief Compliance Officer Ray Gracewood told Global News that it aims to “create social responsibility and awareness and help create programs that will help the medical community.”
The Nanaimo, B.C.-based producers have their sights on a global market. Tilray has invested in facilities in Portugal, its first operation outside of Canada. That makes it the first company to be granted a license to grow marijuana containing the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in Portugal. It also has subsidiaries in Germany, Australia and New Zealand.
Photo credit: Extensively Reviewed