Northern Ontario Micro-Cultivator Signs Supply Agreement with BC Craft Supply Co. – LPC
Weeks after Hearst Organic Cannabis received its licence to cultivate on July 12, 2019, it signed a supply agreement with BC Craft Supply Co. For Hearst Organic owner Joël Lacelle, it’s the culmination of months of hard work.
“Building in Hearst and receiving my Health Canada licence has been a challenge,” Lacelle said. “I’m encouraged by the high demand for craft products.”
The facility consists of a greenhouse for growing and Quonset hut for drying. In the supply agreement, Hearst Organic will provide BC Craft with approximately 500 kg of dried cannabis each year. The company expected to plant its first crop in August 2019 with harvest in the fall.
Lacelle estimated that it took about $700,000 in startup capital to launch Heart Organic. The licensing process itself took nine months – time that Lacelle spent building the facility himself.*
“My partner had a shovel, so we dug with his shovel and we saved a little bit of money there,” Lacelle told The Leaf News.“But that’s what I tell people — save your money. This is a long process.”
In fact, “start small” is Lacelle’s mantra. His advice: focus on quality, not quantity. “You don’t need to have a $10 million LP grow shop, right?”
Hearst Organic is the Spirit of Craft Cannabis – LPC
The Micro-Cultivation sub-class licence was designed to ensure smaller licensed producers like Heart Organics could enter the market. Many see craft cannabis as similar to craft brewers and their emphasis on experimentation and quality.
That seems to be the direction Heart Organic’s new buyers are headed. BC Craft Supply Co. is a subsidiary of Pasha Brands. Pasha describes itself as a “vertically integrated pre-prohibition era brand house that is firmly rooted in BC’s craft cannabis industry.” BC Craft states it is “developing a craft cannabis campus” dedicated to craft quality-cannabis. Pasha also acquired Medcann Health Products in June. “Medcann provides Pasha with an immediate pathway to bring craft cannabis products to market,” the company said of the purchase.
With recent changes to Health Canada’s licensing process (see asterisk* below) and startup costs more likely to go up than down, it will get harder and harder for micro-cultivators such as Hearst Organics to launch. “Incubator” companies such as Pasha could provide the capital required. Given the right autonomy, these micro-cultivators will do what they were meant to do: provide quality and variety in their cannabis strains.
*Due to Health Canada’s “Build First” changes to the cannabis licensing process, this likely wouldn’t be possible to do today. Some say Health Canada’s new regulations threaten the future of craft cannabis licensing in Canada. The intent was to reduce the number of abandonned applications, speeding up the overall licensing process.
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