As business overviews go, this was a big one. Trochu Mayor Barry Kletke opened the Feb. 20, 2019, Community Centre meeting by describing Kannaba Agritech Corporation’s planned medical cannabis growing operation in town as a magnificent project for Trochu.
“We are,” he said, “super pumped about what you have to tell us tonight.”
There was much to report since the company’s first open house in Trochu on Oct. 4, 2018.
Kannaba Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Yad Kallu expressed thankfulness and appreciation for what he called the town’s tremendous support over the intervening months.
“It is most encouraging,” he said, “to have so much support. It is important.” To date, the Vancouver based corporation has invested nearly two million dollars in Trochu startup costs—land, permitting and an existing building.
“We’ll start small,” said Kallu, “by renovating the building to growing standards before constructing our main 50,000 square foot structure.
“We will add a second level to the existing building to provide for research and a tissue culture lab.”
In addition to having acquired land near the Sunterra Meat Processing Plant in Trochu’s northeast corner for the production of medical marijuana, the company is developing a licensing network in Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Uganda and Malta and has instigated partnerships with the University of Lethbridge and three overseas universities.
The company has learned that anything related to medical marijuana is tightly controlled by Health Canada, so much so that permanent licences are not issued until a company proves it can meet exacting standards.
“And the only way we can demonstrate our compliance,” said Kallu, “is to build a facility and grow two crops. We have to prove without question we know what we are doing and can meet Health Canada’s high expectations.”
Building completion will involve companies providing security, air handling systems, electrical/mechanical systems and an engineer for the second floor expansion of the existing building.
The company has engaged an architect and already has a sketch of the first building’s floor plan—with a vault and rooms for product trimming, drying, storage, packaging, security and an employee lunch and locker room.
During the question and answer session, it was stated that eventually the company will have an office presence in town, but not at the facility.
It will offer competitive wages and must erect a fence to government standards and is not prepared yet to start the hiring process.