Massive outdoor cannabis farm in Brant County getting ready for its first harvest
One of Canada's largest outdoor cannabis farms is getting close to its first harvest, which could amount to almost 40,000 kg.
The 100-acre farm near Brantford first planted back in May. Now, months later, the investment is about to pay off.
A summer staff of about 50 people, each making around $20 per hour, is needed to ensure the cannabis has optimal growing conditions at the 48North farm.
"Every day, we have approximately 30 people, roughly, that are going to be hoeing our fields," explains senior grower Devin Piche.
Those jobs are new jobs, since field cultivation only became legal this year.
Growing cannabis outside isn't as simple as sticking a few plants in the ground.
"It's a completely different ballgame, growing cannabis outdoors," Piche explains.
He says the facility isn't allowed to use the same pesticides, insecticides or fungicides as are used in growing indoor cannabis.
In fact, he says they aren't allowed to spray at all.
It may be a lot of work, but CEO Alison Gordon says that outdoor growing could be the future of the industry with new products like vapes, edibles and cosmetics nearing production.
"Outdoor is definitely going to change the industry," she says. "It is really the way that you need to grow this plant for the amount of products that are going to be coming online."
Now, the outdoor planting of almost 25,000 plants is about to pay off.
"We are looking at tonnes and tonnes of cannabis right now," explains head grower Chad Rigby. "I think we are going to exceed the expectations of 40 tonnes that we've set for ourselves. It's hard to give an exact estimate because no one's ever done this on this scale before."
That 40-plus tonnes will be ready to harvest in about three weeks, all by hand.
With reported shortages in cannabis supply, the market may be ready for what 48North has to offer.