The legalization of cannabis for recreational use in Canada is just around the corner. And when it comes to medicinal purposes, the number of registered users are quite high. So now, a business in Pickering has set up shop to help keep up with the growing demand.
“Canada is leading the world on cannabis cultivation and patient access,” said Weed Me’s co-founder and CEO Terry Kulaga. “Receiving one of the first 104 licences positions us perfectly for the expected growth ahead.”
“We chose Pickering, in an industrial park away from residential areas, away from schools. We wanted to do so in a responsible way to provide employment for the community and also keep it away from children and not to glamourize it either.”
Weed Me Inc. got their licence to cultivate cannabis, approved by Health Canada, and they will operate out of their 20,000-square-foot facility. But it didn’t come easy, says Kulaga. “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.”
The facility is strategically located immediately adjacent to Highway 401, and is poised to take advantage of proximity to the major transportation corridor of the Greater Toronto Area as well as having direct highway access to the Quebec market.
Back in 2015, when the Justin Trudeau stated that “the Liberals are committed to legalizing and regulating marijuana,” it became apparent that more businesses should step up to the plate so they can get in on the action early. Weed Me holds the 104th cultivation licence approved in Canada and that number should rise as the demand starts to grow.
Weed Me’s proven leadership team has secured the genetics and licensing agreements to quickly enter the medicinal and recreational cannabis market in Canada and their facility has the ability to expand to 220,000-square feet of indoor growing space, supplying 40,000 kg of high-quality cannabis to Canadians annually.
But having this kind of business could come with some risks, according to Pickering Mayor David Ryan. “The resources required here in the municipality like police, regulations, are still an open question. So that’s the level of concern we have.”
Kulaga mentions that safety and security are a large component of the licensing process.
When Global News took a tour of the facility, it was already decked out with security cameras that cover every nook and cranny.
They also had a safe, much like a bank vault, where they will store the finished product. Every “vegetation” room requires a security pass where an alarm goes off if a door is open for a few seconds.
All of this is topped off with a massive fence with barbed wire surrounding the entire building. And when asked if the place could hold a prisoner, Kulaga laughed and said, “Getting in is a lot harder than getting out, so it’s kind of the reverse of jail.”
And even though the day that marijuana will be legal for recreational use is still uncertain, businesses like Weed Me will continue to pop up. “We are set up here with the intention of growing economically as a business, but also for the community as well.”