MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - A mothballed production facility near Cremona is expected to start producing cannabis for sale again soon.
Nearly a year ago, CannaPharmaRx Inc. announced the signing of a 20-year operating lease of the former Aurora Mountain facility located in Mountain View County.
In recent weeks, Nick Colvin, CannaPharmaRx’s chief executive officer, said the facility is in final preparations to open.
Colvin announced in a press release issued Dec. 21 that Health Canada has issued a cultivation licence to the company.
As a result, CannaPharmaRx may now legally grow cannabis and sell its crop to other licensed producers and licensed wholesalers throughout Canada.
“Armed with our new cultivation licence, the rights to several genetic strains and a very lucrative offtake agreement, we are primed to enter the cannabis market,” Colvin stated. “We remain on track to complete our first harvest and commence distribution during the next few months. We expect these factors to quickly yield rapid revenue expansion over the next twelve months."
Approval of the cultivation licence allows the company to reasonably project completion of its initial first harvest and commence sales from the crop during the first quarter of 2023.
The company estimates 12-month revenues of $30 million from the facility.
The Cremona-area facility was Aurora Cannabis's first facility and was completed in 2015. Sitting on 153 acres, the facility is about a 55,200-square foot, 6,000-kilogram-per-year plant.
The Aurora facility was billed as the world's first-ever custom-built cannabis grow site.
Aurora Cannabis announced plans in June of 2020 to close down operations at a number of its facilities -- including the Aurora Mountain production facility north of Cremona -- “in order to focus production and manufacturing at the company’s larger scale and highly efficient sites.”
At the peak of production, 150 people were employed there.
CannaPharmaRx announced the hiring of three key facility personnel in January 2022.
Jeremy Metro was hired as the head grower, Jason Buxton was hired as the quality manager and Rob Osterdal as head of security. All three have worked at cannabis production sites including Aurora’s and Sundial Growers’.