Cannabis business park planned for Lumby, B.C.

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WATCH: The small North Okanagan village of Lumby could soon be a hub for small scale cannabis businesses. – Apr 20, 2021

The small North Okanagan village of Lumby, B.C., could soon be a hub for small-scale cannabis businesses.

After exiting creditor protection last year, local marijuana company True Leaf is planning to subdivide its 40-acre Lumby property and create a cannabis business park.

Read more: Have Canadian cannabis users increased their usage during the pandemic?

True Leaf is specifically hoping to attract micro-cultivators to the area.

“Typically [micro-cultivators] grow product. They don’t necessarily sell it and take it to market. You need a different licence for that so our strategy for True Leaf is to offer services to help them bring their product to market so it is quality assurance, packaging, and then national distribution under our licence,” said True Leaf interim CEO Darcy Bomford.
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It’s welcome news for the Village of Lumby which wants to see more businesses in its industrial area.

“[True Leaf] owns 40 acres in that industrial park and it is really an underused piece of property,” Mayor Kevin Acton said.

“We’ve always been hopeful that it would subdivide.”

Read more: Okanagan cannabis company working to revive business, avoid bankruptcy

The village is hoping the new business park will help diversify the tax base.

“Just having diversity makes a huge difference for a small community like this. For years everything was based on logging and whenever there was an up or a down in the market of logging it made a huge difference to our tax base,” Acton said.

“Now with diversification thankfully if one company like True Leaf has a little bit of a stumble, we can weather the storm.”

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Read more: New York state lawmakers pass bill to legalize recreational marijuana

True Leaf’s move to subdivide its Shuswap Ave. property comes after the company recently got back on to more stable financial footing.

For part of 2020, the business was under creditor protection.

“We found a group of investors to buy out our debt and work through the restructuring process and then we exited [creditor protection] in December as a reorganized company,” Bomford said.

As part of the restructuring, True Leaf is expected to address back taxes owed to the Village of Lumby.

Now, True Leaf has started growing marijuana at its Lumby facility, with the first harvest expected in June.

Read more: ‘It was terrifying’: Why legalization may be increasing pot’s perils to pets

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Despite the challenges True Leaf has encountered, the interim CEO feels demand exists for the kind of craft cannabis hub his business is proposing.

“There is a large glut of sort of mid- to low-quality product on the market that is just sitting there and not selling. But we’ve seen some recent figures where about 61 per cent of the current market is all on the higher range product, premium flower, and that’s really where True Leaf is targeting,” Bomford said.

True Leaf says marketing for the first three lots of the business park will start this summer.

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