‘It’s a pretty exciting time’: Moncton cannabis supplier bracing for legalization
With an actively-changing marijuana supply industry, a Moncton-based distributor is bracing for the day recreational pot will become legal.
“Suffice to say that Oct. 17 is a huge day for us,” says Organigram’s chief commercial officer Ray Gracewood. “(It’s) an exciting one, and something that we’ve been building on for quite some time.”
About 60 people were employed by Organigram about a year ago. Now, roughly 450 people work at the production plant.
The company’s growth is expected to triple. There’s roughly 50 operational “grow rooms” at the facility now, with 91 currently under construction.
“Right now, we’re licensed for 36,000 kilograms of product, going on 113,000 kilograms of product for 2020,” says Gracewood. “Obviously, our next phase of expansion puts us in a far different place.”
One grow room can hold roughly $1 million worth of retail value, with about 1,000 plants sitting inside.
The prices for pot in the province will range from $8.50 to $16 per gram, according to Cannabis NB spokesperson Mark Barbour.
Gracewood says the legalization date is only “day one” of what will be a marathon to keep up with, and they’re working with provincial counterparts to make sure they’re as prepared as possible to face any challenges.
“Obviously (the provinces) understand that, not just Organigram, but all licensed producers are under the same kind of aggressive timelines that they are, in terms of being ready for Oct. 17.”
Cannabis has already been shipped to several different provinces, according to Gracewood. He says revenue totals for the company from the legal market in 2020 are projected to reach between $8 billion and $9 billion.
“To have the eyes of the world sort of focused on Atlantic Canada and how we’re going to be a leader, especially from a retail perspective and also sort of how the rest of Canada evolves over time, it’s a pretty exciting time to be a part of this industry,” he says.