Manitoba

Massive cannabis cultivation facility starts operating in Winnipeg

A major Canadian cannabis cultivation facility — a joint venture involving Peguis First Nation — is launching its operations in Winnipeg after getting licensed by Health Canada.

Retail stores planned for Winnipeg and Selkirk

Pequis chief Glenn Hudson says expected annual revenues of $25 million from the cannabis operation will bring "a bountiful future" for his community. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

A major Canadian cannabis cultivation facility — a joint venture involving Peguis First Nation — is launching its operations in Winnipeg after getting licensed by Health Canada.

"It's been a long time in the works [but] the first crop is going in this week," said Peguis Chief Glenn Hudson, who announced in October 2018 that his community was involved in the venture.

The cultivation facility is in a retrofitted 120,000-square-foot building — the former Canada Packers plant — on Warman Road in Winnipeg.

The facility is expected to employ 150 to 200 people and produce a full crop turnover four times a year. It's a 90-day turnaround for each crop, Hudson said.

The cultivation facility is the largest for MJardin Group, which has partnered with Peguis.

"This is a great milestone for our flagship facility in Winnipeg and a great day for the team," said Pat Witcher, CEO of MJardin Group, which is based in Denver and Toronto.

The business plan includes two marijuana retail locations: one will be at Peguis's urban reserve in Winnipeg and another in the city of Selkirk, just north of Winnipeg. 

Hudson said the First Nation has invested about $38 million into the partnership, of which Peguis is the majority owner. The business plan, he said, calls for about $25 million in annual revenues.

"That's going to help us with many different things. It's going to be a bountiful future with that type of revenue," Hudson said.

The cannabis shop in Winnipeg will be part of a larger development that includes a restaurant as well as a pain management clinic in an urban reserve at the corner of Portage Avenue and Dominion Street.

With files from Meaghan Ketcheson

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