Mike Templeton admits he was a little green when it came to the cannabis industry.
“Cannabis is much different than oil but yet a commodity really that’s in this country now,” Templeton said.
After leaving his oil and gas company last year, he set out on a new venture. Recently announcing plans to build a 44,000-square-foot cannabis production facility, just west of Regina in the RM of Sherwood.
“As far as facilities go in Canada, we will be one of the higher end facilities,” he explained.
The new multi-million dollar facility is in the first of three phases of development.
“Our next one [will be a] similar twin building, slightly bigger,” Templeton said. “Then we are looking at a larger scale third phase which would include a hybrid greenhouse style facility.”
Once complete the entire operation will produce between 16,000 and 20,000 kilograms of medical cannabis.
Templeton is hoping his company named OneLeaf Cannabis Corp., becomes the fifth licensed producer in Saskatchewan.
“We expect the recreational market as it takes off, that’s something that we may step into and we would expect that our licenses would carry into that market as well,” he said.
Other provinces like Ontario already have 47 licensed producers and B.C. has 18, giving Saskatchewan an opportunity for growth.
“I think there’s some merit to looking at that and seeing how far we can get to and perhaps be a distributor for not only Saskatchewan but also the rest of the country, maybe even Europe and who knows maybe even someday the United States,” Regina & District Chamber of Commerce CEO John Hopkins said.
Canopy Growth Corporation is the largest cannabis producer in the world. It owns a facility in Yorkton and has been growing medical cannabis since June.
“All of the cultivation that’s happened to date has been for the purpose of achieving the sales license we just received, so moving forward now we will be aggressively ramping that [production] up,” Managing Director of Canopy Growth Corporation Andrew MacCorquodale said.
With growth comes jobs, Templeton expects his facility to create more than 100 jobs once it’s complete.
Construction is underway and the first phase is expected to be up and running this summer, pending the company’s completion of Health Canada’s licensing process.
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