Thunderchild FN cannabis production site near Battleford moving ahead

By Angela Brown
September 28, 2018 - 2:48pm Updated: September 28, 2018 - 11:12pm

The firm developing the new cannabis production site near Battleford is making headway with the project.

The project is a partnership between Westleaf Cannabis Inc. and Thunderchild First Nation. It is being built on land owned by Thunderchild First Nation, off Highway 16, within the municipality of Battleford.

The site will be known as the Thunderchild Cannabis Facility when it is complete.

"We're really excited. We're already under construction on what will be an 115,000 sq. ft. cannabis cultivation facility," Westleaf Cannabis Inc. chief financial officer Taylor Ethans told battlefordsNOW Friday.

He said Westleaf, based in Calgary, appreciates being able to partner with Thunderchild FN — the company's largest shareholder.

Ethans said the Battleford-area production facility will be owned 100 per cent by Westleaf. The First Nation invested $8 million in the company and its chief, Delbert Wapass is on the company's board. 

The construction of the facility was started this past summer so it should be completed by the middle of 2019.

The firm had applied for federal approval through the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations program for the facility to become a licenced producer. Ethans said the facility will supply both medicinal and recreational cannabis.

Ethans said the firm has worked with the Town of Battleford to secure the appropriate development and building permits for the new production project.

As reported previously, the town approved a discretionary-use application for the cannabis grow operation in the highway commercial district at council in July.

He said the facility will be producing dried cannabis flower, so ultimately at full-scale production it could produce up to 15,000 kg. of cannabis flower per year.

The facility is expected to create about 150 jobs to help the local economy. 

"The partnership between Westleaf and Thunderchild is really a natural fit," Ethans said. "We both share the same values and vision for community, and are really looking forward to being able to create not just some jobs but some real career opportunities for all the members of the community of Thunderchild as well as the town of Battleford.”


Editor's Note: This story was updated at 11:10 PM on Sept. 28, 2018 to correct a typo.

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