Supreme Cannabis Company’s 7 Acres greenhouse for cannabis is still growing, both in size and number of employees.
With tight innovative security and safety, the facility has become a model for growing the highest quality of cannabis. What began as a source of medical marijuana, 7 Acres has now exploded its expansion for both medical and recreational use. One year after the legalization of marijuana in Canada on October 17, 2018, the company today, October 17, 2019 celebrated its record explosive growth.
Located in the Bruce Energy Centre in the Municipality of Kincardine, the facility will reach 440,000 sq. ft. once completed in March or April of 2020. There will be 25 rooms with some 3,000 plants in each room that are stringently climate controlled for maximum plant production.
The plants begin life in an organic coconut fibre-soil medium in a nursery grow room and then are moved into a second grow room where they are kept in 18 hours of daylight through an opaque roof and artificial lighting and, then are forced into darkness for the remaining six. Once they reach the flowering stage the daylight hours are reduced to 12. Each room is 10,000 sq. ft. with 3,000 plants of each type of cannabis.
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Since the growing medium is sterile, the plants rely on nutrients through an automated fertirigation system, a combination of fertilizer and irrigation. There is also a ‘subsidized’ or advanced supplemental sunlight system that gives more flavour to the plants through controlled lighting.
In keeping with security and Health Canada regulations, each plant has a specific bar code for tracking purposes through each stage of growth. “Health Canada does frequent inspections and the code enables us to find any plant immediately through our tracking system,” says Margeaux Bucher.
Originally envisioned as a six-to 10-year project with approximately 300 staff, at full capacity, 7 Acres has now grown to 700 employees with more anticipated in what will be the eventual 440,000 sq. ft. facility.
After three months at above minimum wage, employees qualify for full benefits. “We also encourage staff to explore opportunities for growth,” said Bucher. “There are 30 staff enrolled in a school of management in British Columbia and another 30 in an on-line program. We want employees to have a life-long career. We have employees who had to work two and sometimes three jobs just to make ends meet. Now, they are looking at a possible career in management.”
When it comes to staff, there is evidence everywhere that employees like what they are doing. All through the halls, employees were laughing and talking. Employee, Cindy Lainey, originally from Nova Scotia and who has just completed her three-month probation said that, “Every day I come into work I can hardly wait. I have learned so much and living only a few miles away it has been so convenient, especially now that I have a new baby. I just love it here.”
Communications Manager, Jenny Posthumus added that 7 Acres is shaping the future of the cannabis industry. “Our staff also gives back to their communities through volunteerism and we encourage our values that include respect, innovation and leadership.”
7 Acres was recognized as Craft Grower of the Year at the 2019 ‘Grow Up Awards’. The annual exhibition and conference is a cannabis industry show, recognizing emerging businesses and trends throughout the cannabis industry.
Last year, 2018, 7 ACRES also picked up accolades at the 2018 annual Canadian Cannabis Awards as Brand of the Year. The award recognizes brand strategy, culture, image, and impact.
When asked if he saw the explosive growth as a vision early on, General Manger Ram Davloor said that, “This has never been done on this scale before. When we started, we were up against a lot of competition and, truly, I didn’t know five years ago if we would ever reach this scale. Now, today, we are the second largest employer in Bruce County next to Bruce Power and I would like to see it expand even more.”