NordikLeaf secures 25 acres outside Perth for cannabis grow-op

cannabis

An Ottawa-area cannabis company has found a suitable plot of land for its growing operations just outside of Perth.

NordikLeaf announced Thursday it has secured a 25-acre plot of land with an existing 41,000-square-foot building on-site. The facility was previously used in food production, says the firm’s CEO James Mackenzie, which makes it well-suited for conversion into a cannabis grow-op.

The company plans to increase the existing facility to a full 50,000 square feet for production, with construction on the expansion and fit-ups slated to begin later this summer. The firm has already applied to Health Canada for a cannabis cultivation licence, Mackenzie says.

NordikLeaf had previously been eyeing a site closer to urban Ottawa, but Mackenzie says discussions between the numerous parties “became too cumbersome” and it would have taken too long to get a deal in place.

The landlord for the Perth site, on the other hand, has been amenable to NordikLeaf’s vision that could see the full site eventually occupied by a variety of growing operations. While the upstart cannabis firm will initially focus its efforts on getting the existing building up and running, the remaining 20 acres could see a new indoor cultivation facility sprout up or even an outdoor farm, depending on how growing regulations in Canada evolve.

If all goes according to plan, Mackenzie says the firm could be producing pot flower by the end of 2019, more than a year after recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada. The NordikLeaf team isn’t discouraged by getting a late start in Canada’s cannabis market, citing reports that anticipate pot shortages stretching into 2024. If shortages do continue, the firm believes it will help fill a sizeable gap in the Canadian market.

“Frankly, we were so darn excited to see (that report) because it's supported everything that we believe,” Mackenzie says.

NordikLeaf currently has roughly a dozen employees. Much of the core management team consists of alumni from Carleton Place-based pot firm RockGarden, which was acquired by Cannabis Wheaton back in 2017.

The firm has raised $1 million from some well-heeled local backers to finance the company and expects to raise another $3 million this summer. The company had previously expected to raise up to $25 million to fund its development, but Mackenzie says that amount of financing is no longer needed to get the new Perth site up and running.