Representatives of Green Mountain Health Alliance Ltd. heldo a photo-op ground breaking at the property on Highway 3A. The company has an application in to become a licensed medical marijuana production facility. (Submitted)

Company looking to produce CBD oil in the South Okanagan one step closer

Green Mountain, to be located on a 16-acre parcel in Kaleden

Green Mountain Health Alliance Ltd. announced that Health Canada has approved the company’s application for an industrial hemp license.

Green Mountain, to be located on a 16-acre parcel in Kaleden, intends to cultivate hemp for the extraction of cannabidiol (CBD) and conduct research on high CBD hemp varietals, complementing the company’s original business plans to grow large-scale, low-cost, wholesale cannabis; sell nursery stock; harvest and sell dried cannabis; and process and sell cannabis derivatives.

READ MORE: More funding secured for South Okanagna cannabis start-up

Green Mountain has secured three properties in the Okanagan Valley in BC – an owned 16-acre ALR parcel in Kaleden, a leased commercial greenhouse in the White Lake area of Kaleden, and a 98-acre parcel of Indigenous agricultural land in Marron Valley (with an Intent to Lease). They intend to use two of the three properties for hemp cultivation; growing outdoor hemp on the Marron Valley property and utilizing the White Lake greenhouse as a nursery for hemp cultivation and research and development on a high CBD hemp strain.

The company is awaiting approval of a cannabis production license for its 16-acre Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) property, following the progression to the review stage of Health Canada’s newly created Cannabis Tracking and Licensing System and identification as an Indigenous Associated Applicant. The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen recently granted a greenhouse building permit for the site.

READ MORE: Kaleden cannabis facility gets green light from ALC

Cultivation of industrial hemp is currently regulated by Health Canada under the Cannabis Act, which allows licensed producers to grow hemp for a variety of purposes, including extracting CBD.

CBD is in high demand across the globe for its health benefits. The oil often retails for over $90/fl. oz. and it’s estimated that CBD consumer sales in the US will total approximately $1.15 billion by 2020, making this a potentially profitable venture for Green Mountain. Hemp grows very quickly and can be selectively grown for CBD, and has almost no THC at less than 0.3%. CBD does not produce the psychoactive ‘high’ caused by THC.

READ MORE: Sunniva suspends construction of $125 million cannabis facility in Okanagan Falls

“The Canadian cannabis market is continually developing, and with the second wave of legalization coming around edibles, beverages, etc. in October of this year, we anticipate the demand for CBD will increase significantly,” said Green Mountain president, Wade Attwood. “We want to ensure Green Mountain can respond to evolving legislation and maintain market adaptability to maximize revenue. We applied for the hemp license to complement our core business model of producing cannabis and as we are still awaiting our cannabis license, we believe cultivating hemp will enable us to get to the market and be revenue positive faster than by growing cannabis alone.”

Green Mountain said they are committed to sustainable outdoor and greenhouse growing practices which it believes will reduce environmental impacts and utilize natural elements to ensure the highest quality product. According to the company, outdoor hemp cultivation is low-cost versus capital-intensive indoor cultivation facilities, and hemp naturally requires minimal pest control and is well-adapted to the outdoor Okanagan environment.

“Currently, industrial hemp licenses only allow for cultivation of hemp strains included on the Industrial Hemp Approved Cultivars List, which are relatively low in CBD. Green Mountain intends to work on researching and developing a high CBD hemp cultivar; far higher than what is on the market now. If we complete the process to have this strain approved, this means greater yield of CBD and incrementally higher ROI per acre than the strains that are currently available, which is great for Green Mountain’s bottom line,” said Attwood.

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