Kitchener-Waterloo

Kitchener cannabis company JWC announces plans for on-site store

In addition to growing cannabis, James E. Wagner Cultivation in Kitchener has announced it plans to sell its product at a 'farm-gate' retail store attached to its production facility starting early next year.

Think of it as a farmer-style model selling directly to buyers, but with marijuana

Nathan Woodworth, president and CEO of James E. Wagner, said the company doubled its production capacity in 2019 to break into the recreational market. (Julianne Hazlewood/CBC)

Kitchener cannabis company James E. Wagner Cultivation plans to become a one-stop shop for pot early next year.

In addition to growing cannabis, JWC has announced it will also sell its product at a "farm-gate" retail store attached to its production facility. 

The direct-to-customer model for cannabis will be the first in Waterloo region. The 185-square metre store would be attached to its growing facility at 530 Manitou Drive.

Last month, the provincial government led the way for such a move in its fall economic statement. The proposed amendments would allow licensed marijuana producers to establish retail stores on their production sites.

"If we're going to disrupt the black market in the way legal cannabis was supposed to, we need to be able to provide good quality, fresh products into local communities," said company president and CEO Nathan Woodworth.

Dried pot, vape cartridges on offer

Woodworth says the company plans to offer 30 different strains of dried cannabis, as well as hash rosin and vape cartridges.

"I know there's some negative news about vape cartridges lately, but really these are things that the legal market can deal with and make this product safe for people to access," Woodworth said.

According to health officials, a total of 13 vaping-associated lung illness have been reported in Canada, and every U.S. state has now reported cases.

Woodworth says the cartridges are heavy-metal free and there will not be any additional materials that come into contact with the cannabis in the cartridges.

Company expands growing capacity

This year, James E. Wagner Cultivation doubled its production capacity because its expanding from solely medicinal marijuana to the recreational market.

The company held a job fair last month, with plans to hire an additional 40 to 50 people for such positions as cannabis growing, trimming and equipment manufacturing. 

Woodworth says the company plans to start offering recreational cannabis by the beginning of 2020. He hopes the new store will also be up in running early in the next year.

"We plan to move forward as quickly as the regulatory and permitting process allows," Woodworth said.

According to the company, it plans to produce more than 35,000 kg of dried cannabis per year once its cultivation facility becomes fully operational.

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