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Micro-Cultivators Join the Market

Rod Wilson’s original plan in his fifties is to grow Christmas trees and lavender with the five-acre farm he purchased some years ago. However, the need for more pioneers in a similar agricultural field proves to be more significant.

With his friends, Wilson hopes to start up a new business which involves growing high-quality cannabis in small quantities. Wilson thought pioneering in that kind of activity had a high potential of success that’s why he chose to bet on it.

After two years of retiring from his job in the pharmaceutical scene, Wilson was able to build a shed. It was supposed to contain different species of plants, but for now, it is empty as he is carefully planning his next move. Wilson believed in the principle of the micro-cultivators to grow quality products even if it is just limited in stock at first.

Wilson plans to start using a small shed and proceed to build more as it becomes necessary. However, building even one shed is highly expensive. In the beginning, he has roughly estimated his investments to amount to $500,000. This price covers LED lights, Mylar-lined walls, and air regulating units. Mylar is a type of polyester film known for its durability.

What he did next was to apply to Health Canada because even the micro-cultivators are still required to follow safety and security regulations as well as quality assurance.

In January, the agency received about 80 applications, which they have approved. Many people in the cannabis industry are already hoping that this number will eventually increase, especially with the trends and the general change of public opinion.

The head of marketing and communications in Zenabis, May Nazair, expressed their company’s interest in looking for and recruiting small batch producers. The company owns a facility for the production of cannabis in large quantities, which can be found in Atholville. Despite this, Zenabis still believes that marijuana produced by small-scale cultivators introduces a different product to consumers.

Nazair also explained how micro-cultivated cannabis are meant for experienced users or smokers that have access to such high-end products. The company believes the advantages that this kind of industry poses. Nazair even compared it to “buying a Bud light versus a microbrew” in such a way that it can appeal to various people.

The price of micro-cultivated cannabis is also expected to be higher than usual since caretakers put in extra care. Nazair backed this up by saying that products of higher quality than average or rare ones will not always be available, hence the higher price.

Zenabis has already signed with a small-scale producer in British Columbia. The company is aiming for around 20 more micro-cultivators by December 2019.

With the number of contracts getting signed yearly, Rod Wilson is also getting ready.

Wilson is currently looking for more people who are also interested in the business to form a group that would “speak with one voice.” He plans to name the group “New Brunswick Craft Cannabis Growers Association.”

Wilson also noted that many people in Brunswick are land or farm owners. He believes that these spaces can be used for micro-cultivation of cannabis and will help the owners obtain extra revenue. Along with the group that he has gathered to help him start the business, Wilson thinks that others should do it too.

Wilson also added that although a lot of people are knowledgeable about the cycle and how to’s of growing cannabis, they may not have enough money to finance the startup costs. Wilson also envisions a tourist industry that will be based on cannabis popularity, much like how Napa Valley is famous for its wine.

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