British Columbia

Construction of large grow-op in little Lumby, B.C., set to begin

The mayor of Lumby, population 1,700, is looking forward to welcoming the medicinal cannabis producer True Leaf and the jobs it will bring.

'We're looking forward to it,' says mayor of village, population 1,700

True Leaf's first 16,000-square-foot hydroponic grow room will be able to produce 2,500 kilograms of dried cannabis each year, according to its CEO. (CBC)

The village of Lumby, B.C., is welcoming the cannabis industry — and a boost in employment — with construction on a large-scale grow operation is due to begin Friday.

True Leaf, a company based in nearby Vernon that hopes to produce medicinal cannabis, has received federal approval to build its facilities in the village, population 1,700. 

Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton says the move is is welcomed in what is historically a logging community, with the major employers remaining in manufacturing and forestry. 

"The better part of the village is very excited about having some growth in Lumby and seeing some diversity in industry coming to town," said Acton. 

The first stage of construction will see a 16,000-square-foot hydroponic grow building — which will yield up to 2,500 kilograms of dried marijuana per year — as well as office spaces in the 25,000-square-foot facility.

True Leaf CEO Darcy Bomford calls the project the "True Leaf campus" and says the company aims to finish construction and start growing by September.

True Leaf currently sells hemp-based pet products across North America and Europe as True Leaf Pet, but this would be the company's first grow operation under the umbrella of True Leaf Medicine.

True Leaf has completed the security clearance under Health Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, but will not be a licensed producer until its first crop is inspected and approved by Health Canada officials.

Bomford says the site will have the capacity for two more grow rooms of the same size once the first is completed.

press release from the company said True Leaf plans to become "one of the main employers" in Lumby.

Acton says that through conversations with True Leaf, he estimates that there will be roughly 100 construction jobs in the first stages. 

True Leaf says that once construction is over, they will initially employ about 35 people, making them a major employer in Lumby. The company expects that number to increase once grow operations expand.

"They have some plans for rapid growth so employment, I'm sure, will be available for a lot of people," Acton says.

"We're looking forward to it."

With files from Daybreak South