Jordan Sinclair of Canopy Growth says the legalization of marijuana is good news for his company. (photo / contributed) Jordan Sinclair of Canopy Growth says the legalization of marijuana is good news for his company. (photo / contributed)

Marijuana cultivation a mixed blessing

Economic benefit comes with other issues

The soon-to-be legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada has been a controversial initiative on the part of the Federal Government, but for the marijuana growing industry, the law is nothing but good news.

“This is definitely good news for our industry,” said Jordan Sinclair, the Vice President of Communications for Canopy Growth, the operators of a 30 acre greenhouse operation in Aldergrove.

“I don’t think it will actually affect our Aldergrove operation all that much as we were already established there for the medical marijuana market, but now the recreational market will only add to the strength of the company’s operations, right across the country.”

Canopy Growth currently operates grow operations in seven provinces and has distribution in eight. But with the expanded market, Sinclair expects that the company will soon be in every province in the country.

The company also has a breeding facility in Smith Falls where they develop unique strains of the plant and, on the research side of things, they operate in conjunction with a research facility in Victoria, Australia.

“We research the crop yields and flowering growth periods…all the things we can do to improve the commercial viability of the crop.”

Recent complaints from area residents in Aldergrove related to the bright lights of the operation and now with the odours emanating from the 30 acre greenhouse operation have shone a light on the operation and raised a number of questions regarding whether the operation should be allowed on ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) land.

One of the criticisms has been that the company buys existing greenhouse operations and converts them away from food production to marijuana farms.

“Of course we’ve had some concerns. Part of that may have to do with the nature of the crop, and certainly some of the material concerns are something we recognize.

“We dealt with the light issue in Aldergrove very quickly, installing shades that have eliminated that problem, and the issue of odour is something we are working on,” said Sinclair.

“But as to the question of whether we are impacting the availability of agricultural land and thereby affecting the food security of the region, I don’t really believe that’s a valid concern. The amount of (food) production that we transition to marijuana will not have a substantial impact on food availability.”

Langley mayor, Jack Froese, agrees that the question of whether marijuana belongs on ALR land is not something that concerns him. He drew the parallels that can be found between marijuana cultivation and growing crops like hops for beer.

“There’s really no difference, as far as that goes,” said Freose.

“And as far as the odour of the marijuana cultivation goes, well, this is an agricultural community and while I will advocate for solutions, I also know that some smell is going to be there. I have a farming background and I can tell you that sometimes chicken farms don’t smell that good either. The important thing is that the company has recognized the concerns and are working to solve it.”

Froese is quick to point out that Canopy Growth is a large corporate presence in the community and the employment they provide and the spin-off economic benefits of the operation also have to be taken into account.

“We just passed 1,000 employees in seven provinces and, with the next two years, we expect that number to rise to more than 3,000,” said Sinclair.

“These are exciting times for the industry.”

Just Posted

DW Poppy Sr. boys basketball defeats ACSS Totems rivals

DW Poppy’s Sr. boys RedHawks defeated ACSS Totems this Friday in a high-stakes basketball match.

VIDEO: All ages participate in Langley Hospice Historic Half marathon

Turnout was down, slightly, this year but donations are up

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blank Rockets

Langley-based G-men take over top spot in the west

Kodiaks begin best-of-seven series strong

The Kodiaks opened their quarter-final playoff series by defeating the Delta Ice Hawks on home ice.

Heritage proposal for Aldergrove fire hall at a ‘standstill’

The Alder Grove Heritage Society faces a delay in knowing the fate of the fire hall due to tenants slated to live in the building until 2020.

VIDEO: Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Pedestrian in serious condition after hit by car downtown Abbotsford

A youth was also hit, suffered minor injuries, police say

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Most Read