Jim Hole, the owner of Hole’s Greenhouses, a well-known Edmonton-area gardening business, officially announced Wednesday he was stepping into the cannabis industry.
Hole will join Canadian producer Atlas Growers as the company’s director of cultivation.
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“I’m excited to play a part in defining standardized cannabis production in Canada,” Hole said.
“The industry needs better agronomic standards, proper safety protocols, and research to back it all up.
“I believe that in partnering with Atlas Growers, we can reach the highest levels of quality and consistency.”
The partnership was originally announced in August. Hole said his family was approached by other companies with similar requests in the past, but until Atlas asked, it didn’t seem like a great fit.
“These guys are doing it right,” Hole said. “They’re going to grow with the latest technology, with the objective of growing the highest quality product and the safest product.
“Then we had the family discussion: ‘OK, this is cannabis. This is something that’s a departure from what we’re normally associated with. How do we feel about this?’
“We kind of reflected on the philosophy of the family and the history, and the fact that I love plants no matter what and plant science, which I love. Trying to grow a new crop is just a thrill for me,” Hole said.
“At the end of the day, we said you know what? The net benefits of this, with this company Atlas, in conjunction with Hole’s, is something that’s very positive and therefore, yeah, we want to be involved.”
Atlas said Hole will work closely with engineers and suppliers to develop and cultivate the world’s highest quality medicinal cannabis. He will be training Atlas’ staff to manage production and fine-tune irrigation systems by adjusting nutrient balances.
Hole will also oversee the commissioning of the irrigation systems, lighting systems, air handling systems and sanitation processes.
“His passion and extensive knowledge of cultivation, safe agricultural practices, and his desire to play a part in standardizing cannabis production are major assets to the Atlas team,” Atlas
Growers president, Sheldon Croome, said.
“This is a major step forward in our efforts to legitimize and standardize the Canadian cannabis market.”
Hole has 35 years of experience in the agriculture and horticulture fields. He has a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Plant Science and is a Certified Professional Horticulturist with the American Society for Horticulture Science.
Watch below: 3D rendering of the currently under-construction greenhouse facility for Atlas Growers.
Atlas said its new partner hopes to apply that knowledge to the cannabis industry as Canada looks at legalizing cannabis in July 2018.
Atlas Growers is a privately owned Canadian company that is currently building a state-of-the-art facility in Lac Ste. Anne County northwest of Edmonton. The 38,000-sq,-ft. facility is expected to produce 5,500 kilograms of cannabis each year.
Currently, Atlas is in the pre‐cultivation stage of licensing, pending construction completion. The company anticipates first sale of products in the second half of 2018, soon after Canada legalizes cannabis for recreational use.
Hole’s Greenhouses in St. Albert is one of the largest grower/retailer businesses in Canada.