Medical marijuana plant will need more power


The company poised to begin growing medical marijuana in Enniskillen Township says it will need more power .
That from Cameron Bishop, the director of governmental affairs with Tilray, a BC-based company which plans to turn the Enniskillen Pepper Company greenhouse into a medical marijuana facility.
Bishop met with Enniskillen Township council Aug. 22, just days after the company announced an agreement to first lease and then later buy the Lasalle Line greenhouse.
The company is waiting for Health Canada to approve its application to begin growing medical marijuana at the facility. Bishop says that approval is likely to arrive in three to five months allowing production to begin in January.
Tilray will bring in contractors to convert the current 13-acre greenhouse to grow medical marijuana. There will be expansion at the site in the futurewith Tilray hiring up to 600 contractors to increase the area under glass to about one million square feet.
That will help the company reach its target of producing about 51 metric tonnes of medical marijuana between its two plants.
Bishop told council for the first year, the aim is to simply grow and then ship out the product to be processed at another location. He says the company is exploring the idea of processing the dried plant at Enniskillen as well.
That will take more work. Bishop says the company is looking at water and power consumption .
“Right now we estimate no change to the water consumption,” Bishop told council adding the pepper operation uses about 60,000 cubic meters of water per year. Tilray is “looking at engineering studies for any sort of expansion” in the future.
And he says the plant will require more power than is currently used since the operation will be lit 18 hours per day. The current facility uses natural lights.
“Ten mega watts is required because the lights are needed. There is six available now. The engineering studies are underway now to bring in more power,” Bishop says adding Hydro One is already being consulted.
About 50 employees will be hired at the outset but Bishop says that could grow to over 200 as the plant expands.