Canada: GrowForce announces opening of flagship cultivation facility in Winnipeg

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Growforce Holdings announced Tuesday that they are opening their “flagship cannabis cultivation facility” in Winnipeg.

The new, Toronto-based company is currently renovating an old Maple Leaf meat-packing plant that has sat vacant for eight years in Transcona, Winnipeg. The facility is being given new life as GrowForce’s third facility.

The 120,000 square foot facility is being built in compliance with Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations.

“We were looking for a large-scale facility that met a lot of our criteria as an operator, in terms of availability, of talent, of power rates, close to an urban centre,” said, Rishi Gautum, GrowForce CEO.

“We choose this location predominantly because of the type of building we found, but also the people in the surrounding area that have been supporting us since day one.”

The new facility is expected to bring at least 150-200 jobs to Winnipeg by the time it is fully operating.

“The jobs are very diverse,” said Gautum. “So you have hourly rate workers that do trimming and packaging, and then you have sophisticated horticultural positions that are more in the cultivation tech side.

Workers will also be needed for lab and biological work.

Company officials say they expect to produce over 900 kg of cannabis each month through an agreement with Canada’s largest legal cannabis operator, MJardin Group.

“Our goal is to become one of the premium licensed cannabis producers in Canada and other federally legal markets worldwide,” said Jeanette Harkin, Vice President of Corporate Development at GrowForce. “MJardin has proven cannabis operating expertise, and is supporting GrowForce’s plan to invest in building our capacity here in Canada through partnerships with First Nations, universities and Colleges.

The first crop is on track to be ready by fall of 2018 and with shipping to purchasers and retail shops by 2019.

With legalization expected across the country within the next few months, GrowForce will be the third licensed marijuana producer in Manitoba.

GrowForce has also publicly said that they plan to build a vertically integrated cannabis platform including cultivation, processing and retail across Canada.

The company is also in the process of renovating site in Brampton, Ontario and Dunville Ontario.

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