A proposed large-scale, state of the art medical cannabis growing facility could provide a huge economic injection to the South Okanagan economy.
Sunniva, Inc. chief executive officer Dr. Tony Holler says the company is proposing to build a 700,000 square foot, high technology greenhouse facility to grow pharmaceutical grade cannabis near Oliver.
He says there is still lots of work to do, but the company is in negotiations with the Osoyoos Indian Band on a lease of 39 acres within the Senkulmen Industrial Park north of Oliver.
The company has financial proposals to finish and a final review of the project with Health Canada, but Holler says he hopes to break ground in late March.
Holler says the facility will provide a “significant economic return” to the area through the hiring of 200 skilled positions to operate the facility. He says talks are in progress with Okanagan College and the Osoyoos Indian Band to put together a training curriculum to operate facilities such as his.
“The industry is growing rapidly, and there will be lots of employment opportunity amongst smaller operators in this field,” he says.
The project represents a $100 million investment.
Holler says his company is focused on controlling the cost of growing high grade pharmaceutical cannabis from $5 a gram to under a dollar.
There will be a number of jobs created during the eight months it’s expected to take to build the greenhouse, he says.