Crystal Cure Launches New Brunswick’s First On-Site Cannabis Sales

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Crystal Cure Inc. is New Brunswick's first cannabis producer to launch on-site sales.

CEO Jonathan Wilson said Crystal Cure is the first to roll out Cannabis NB’s FarmGate program and among the first in Canada to roll out an on-site store.

“It’s a huge deal for us. To be able to sell directly to customers is absolutely huge. It gets people coming to our facility as we build it up, modernized and evolve to become a great destination,” said Wilson.

Crystal Cure opened its Le Backdoor retail site November 18 and Wilson noted its first FarmGate customers were members of its 12-person staff.

Crystal Cure produces smaller batches of hand-crafted, organically-grown cannabis that will be sold through its FarmGate store in the form of flowers and pre-rolled joints.

The FarmGate program, announced in August by Cannabis NB, allows licensed cannabis producers to sell their own products at their own locations. Other than New Brunswick, Ontario is the only other province with a cannabis FarmGate program.

Wilson said being able to sell on-site is particularly valuable to Crystal Cure, which also sells its products through Cannabis NB stores across the province, because of its scale of production.

“We’re always testing out stuff and trying new things, and [FarmGate] gives us the ability to sell that stuff directly to customers, much like you’d see in a craft brewery,” Wilson said.

“A lot of our team comes from the beverage-alcohol industry and have taken ideas from that. And like that, being able to monetize our small production is great.”

Small batches in the context of Crystal Cure’s operations range from a kilogram-and-a-half of cannabis to 10 or 50 kilograms.

Wilson said Crystal Cure was first in line to open a FarmGate because it abided by all federal and provincial regulations with licenses for cultivation, processing and sales ready when the time came to apply.

“We were able to get it done so quickly because we’re a small producer and we have all the licenses of a larger company. We know it’s highly regulated and it’s important to keep up to speed on the act and the regulations that follow,” he said.

Major Expansion On The Horizon

Wilson said Le Backdoor’s opening comes six to eight months before an expansion that will expand Crystal Cure’s footprint fifty times. That means building a 60,000-square-foot facility and 50,000-square-foot hybrid greenhouse.

Wilson said the original facility was a smaller mockup of a full-sized production facility built to meet regulatory guidelines when the company was working towards its licenses.

There are also potential plans to bring oils and edibles to Le Backdoor, but Wilson noted he’s treading cautiously and keeping its FarmGate retail small-scale, because FarmGate is still in a pilot stage. Wilson plans to see how it goes, before launching into a more permanent on-site retail plan with brand building.

“We want to say great work to Cannabis NB for being progressive and doing this, while many governments and provincial regulators are still saying no,” he said. “We’re trying to keep the quality up there. Right now, we’re only in three markets: New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Saskatchewan, and people in larger markets are begging for our product.”

Wilson noted the company has a partnership with Golden Peak Cannabis, in which Golden Peak will use Crystal Cure’s organic soil to grow in its Dieppe-based facility, and Crystal Cure will purchase what Golden Peak grows, package and sell it from its FarmGate store.

“They don’t have the same license we do, but we work side-by-side with them,” Wilson said.

In addition to cannabis, Crystal Cure’s 48-acre footprint includes a worm farm, a facility where it makes its organic soil, organic vegetable plots, and fields where it raises cows and chickens.

Crystal Cure was founded in 2016 by Hiroshi Kosako and Kenneth Robichaud. Kosako, who also is CEO of Shediac-based Gourmet Chef Packers, found his passion for cannabis cultivation after using medicinal cannabis oil to treat his pancreatic cancer.

Robichaud, Crystal Cure’s master cultivator, is the mind behind the company’s signature certified organic soil. The certified organic soil uses mixtures of 20 different ingredients and is free of synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.

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