Ottawa cannabis startup eyes Carp production facility

Pot greenhouse
Photo from iStock

An Ottawa company wants to build a cannabis production facility in Carp that would cultivate pot in stacked containers instead of soil.

In planning documents recently filed with the city, CannaGenetics says the proposed 43,000-square-foot plant in the WestKan Business Park on Russ Bradley Road near Highway 417 would use “precision aeroponics” to grow what it refers to as “premium, pesticide-free” pot.

According to its website, the company is awaiting Health Canada approval for cultivation, processing and sales licences. In an email to OBJ on Wednesday, CannaGenetics founder and CEO Geoff Graham said he wants to wait until the city rezoning process is completed before providing further details on the proposal. 

The facility would not use soil or pesticides and would require 90 per cent less water and 70 per cent fewer nutrients than traditional production plants to produce an equivalent amount of pot, according to planning documents. It would also operate with high-efficiency LED lights rather than high-pressure sodium lamps often used in cannabis greenhouses, requiring 50 per cent less power, the application says.

While the proposal initially calls for a single one-storey industrial building on the southeast corner of the property, the facility could eventually expand to include multiple greenhouses, the documents say. According to the company’s website, plans call for an additional 400,000 square feet of cultivation space.

The property was chosen for its proximity to the Carp airport, the proposal adds, while noting the business park is also close to a major highway.

No outdoor greenhouses are proposed on the property, the application says, adding it is “understood plants will be processed and packaged within the facility.”

Current zoning does not permit a cannabis production facility on the site. The proponents argue the proposal is “compatible” with surrounding uses, noting the nearby airport will provide a buffer between the plant and future residential developments.

“The proposed facility will be serviced by private services including a septic system and a well and will not compromise the ability of Carp Road to act as a major arterial road,” the application says.