Cannabis edibles facility being built in Winnipeg

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Work is currently underway at an as-yet undisclosed location in Winnipeg that is designed to become one of the largest cannabis edibles manufacturing facilities in North America.

Vancouver-based AgraFlora International Inc. has partnered with a Winnipeg confectionery company in an 80-20 joint venture called Edibles & Infusion that is retrofitting a 51,000-square-foot building that will create significant production capacity for the upcoming edibles market.

Brandon Boddy, chairman and CEO of AgraFlora, said capacity at the plant will be large enough that Edibles & Infusions will supply to other cannabis licensed producers. He said arrangements with other licensed producers are currently being negotiated.

The plant will feature state-of-the-art automated equipment and will require close to $15 million in capital investment that will have the ability to wrap, bag and bottle more than 15,000 cannabis edibles packages per hour.

"The project will mean job creation and an addition to the tax base in Winnipeg," he said. 

Health Canada is expected to provide guidance and regulations on the production and sale of edibles by the end of this year. Boddy said the plan is to have the plant completed and ready to start producing as soon as the regulations are disclosed.

But meanwhile, AgraFlora is still waiting for the final go-ahead on its own cannabis production licence from Health Canada. The company has a 2.2-million-square-foot greenhouse operation in Delta, B.C. — the second-largest such facility in North America. Cannabis production from that facility will supply concentrate for the Winnipeg edibles plant.

Boddy said the plan is to have the plant fully retrofitted sometime early in the new year. The facility will have the capability to formulate and mass-produce cannabinoid-infused fruit/vegetable purées. It intends to initially produce four jelly CBD- or THC-infused gummy products.

However, as the market becomes established, the Winnipeg plant will be capable of producing an assortment of cannabinoid-infused products for medicinal, functional and adult-use. That would include everything from gourmet snacks like caramel popcorn, cheese biscuits, cocoa cookies, glazed pecans and salty pretzels; chocolates, toffees and caramels; gummies, confectionery and gum; baked goods; even powdered drinks and CBD-infused pet products.

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