From potatoes to pot: former Spudco facility to grow marijuana

Some new life is being breathed into a massive potato facility once owned by the Saskatchewan government.

United Greeneries says potato facility is perfect for growing marijuana, hopes to start production this year

A facility once owned by failed Sask. government potato venture Spudco will now grow marijuana. (File pictures)

Some new life is being breathed into a massive potato facility once owned by the Saskatchewan government.

In the 1990s, the provincial government spent millions of dollars trying to develop the provincial potato industry before abandoning the plan completely.

Now, Vancouver-based United Greeneries plans to open a marijuana facility in a massive 60,000 square foot facility once owned by Spudco in Lucky Lake, roughly 130 kilometres southwest of Saskatoon.

"It's an ideal facility for marijuana growing," said company spokesperson Colin Clancy. "I think there was about $4 million of concrete put into the facility alone."

The company is in the process of receiving final regulatory approval from the federal government and could receive it by the fall. United Greeneries already has multiple sites producing in British Columbia.

This facility in Lucky Lake, Sask. will be producing marijuana instead of potatoes. (CNW Group/Harvest One Cannabis)

"Preference is given to those who were already existing license holders," said Clancy. "We've already proven that we can do it."

The company also plans to build extra modular buildings on the property, potentially building an indoor facility with 80,000 square feet of growing space. The company could spend as much as $15 million to get the space ready.

If everything goes according to plan, the Lucky Lake facility will create 12,000 kg of dried marijuana every year.

The provincial government lost $28 million dollars from the failed Spudco venture, and spent an additional $9 million to settle a lawsuit associated with Spudco filed by investors and creditors.

Among other problems, potatoes grown by the venture turned black when fried.