Hundreds of jobs will be created at Winnipeg medical marijuana producer Delta 9 as it becomes a publicly traded company on the TSX Venture stock exchange, president and CEO John Arbuthnot says.
"We are planning to create between 300 and 500 jobs in our production facility in Winnipeg over the next two years," Arbuthnot said Tuesday.
Delta 9, after a merger with SVT Capital, will be listed on the TSX Venture Exchange in the next few days, he said.
The money raised on the stock market will allow Delta 9 to expand from the 15,000 square feet of production space it currently uses to fill its entirely 80,000 square foot facility.
"We are looking to expand out our production square footage fairly substantially over the next number of years, taking our number of kilograms of annualized production from the current 1,000 kilos per year up to 17,000 kilos per year," Arbuthnot said.
The expansion allows the company to gear up production as cannabis becomes legal for recreational use.
"We're currently servicing a little over 2,000 registered medical patients across the country," Arbuthnot said.
"We are actually seeing very rapid growth in just our medical patient book. We are also of course looking forward to legalization and the potential to service a much larger percentage of the Canadian population."
The entire operation started as a business school project, in which Arbuthnot had to do a feasibility study for a new business in a new sector.
"I brought the business plan to my father, and my how we've run with it since then," Arbuthnot said.
The company received a licence to grow medical cannabis from Health Canada in December 2013 and a licence to distribute in April 2014. It now operates a retail cannabis clinic on River Avenue in Osborne Village.
But the burning question may be how good the Delta 9 product is.
"We have a full spectrum of products right now, about 30 different varieties of cannabis under production," Arbuthnot said. "We are very confident in the quality of our product."