Less light leakage at High Park by new year

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There should soon be a lot less light escaping from the cannabis greenhouses on Lasalle Line.
High Park Farms officially launched its operations in the Petrolia area a year ago in anticipation of the legalization of marijuana in Canada. It since has become one of the Ontario government’s main suppliers of recreational cannabis. It also produces cannabis for medical grade products.
In the last year, the company has hired about 200 people to run the growing operation.
But there have been concerns from neighbours as well. High Park’s Kirsty Burns says in January the installation of a carbon air filter was completed to help eliminate strong odours in the area around the 13 acre complex. Neighbours say there is still a smell issue.
They also voiced concern about the amount of light escaping the facility in the early morning hours. Residents in the area say their homes are sometimes as bright as day at two or three in the morning because of the light coming from the operation. The company did use blackout curtains in some areas, but there has still been concerns about the excess light at night.
But Burns says that will soon change.
The company has six acres of greenhouse under plastic – poly houses Burns calls them. In the next few months, High Park is converting half of that area into an indoor growing area. Burns says it is basically enclosing the greenhouse so no light will escape into the atmosphere.
At one point in the production cycle, the plants need 18 hours of light. Those plants will now be housed in the enclosed area “so no light will escape at all.”
“We’re trying to respond to some of the community concerns,” says Burns.
Up to five local contractors are working on the project which includes a new lunch area for the workers and warehousing. It is expected to be complete by January. Company officials declined to say how much the enclosure of the three acres will cost.
Burns says a few more workers will likely be hired at that point.
Earlier this month, the company planned to ask for a zoning changed to allow the greenhouse area to more than double. It was delayed and officials at the community celebration Tuesday could not say when the company would seek the expansion.
Over the past year, Burns says the Petrolia facility is “on target, if not ahead” of its production targets, although the company doesn’t release how much cannabis is produced at the facility.