By Cole Parkinson
As part of the Municipal District of Taber’s search to expand economic development, a group is looking to construct a hemp and cannabis extraction processing facility.
At the M.D.’s Subdivision and Development Authority meeting on Jan. 6, a development hearing for an application submitted by Michael Nakamura and Jordan Oseen to build a 10,000 square foot hemp and cannabis extraction processing facility on NE 11-11-17-W4 off Highway 864 was held.
“We strive to provide the highest quality and safest processed goods through a supercritical CO2 extraction. Products will range from vape cartridges made with distillate to CBD isolate. The extraction system that we plan to buy can do multiple things so it allows us to have multiple end products,” explained Nakamura. “Our goal is to provide the highest quality products to consumers, but we’d also like to help provide education and some sort of knowledge to help consumers learn about the products. I don’t think there is a ton of information out there as far as CBD or THC products.”
The group is also expecting to have some jobs available for residents as well.
If approved by the M.D., the group is hoping to hit the ground running with the construction of the facility.
“We are hoping to be up and running by the fall of 2020 if all goes well,” added Nakamura.
A budget summary was also provided to the SDA board.
The building itself is estimated at $467,000, security systems and other measures were at $250,000, extraction equipment was $700,000 and other expenses were at $300,000 for a total of $1,717,000.
“We will be running a Vitalis Q-90HP for our main extraction system. This is a supercritical CO2 system that runs the extractions using CO2 and ethanol. We chose this system because CO2 is the safest and least volatility as far as a solvent in today’s industry. This system will allow us to process about 120 pounds in a day at full capacity,” added Nakamura.
Another necessity for the facility will be a large pond of water for fire suppression.
“The exterior of the site, we will include a pond that will have to hold 1.45 million gallons of water as per the Alberta Fire Code,” said Nakamura, who also explained the security of the building in further detail. “There will be a fence around the building that acts as a perimeter. The fence will have a perimeter breach system surrounding the building and it will be six-feet tall with barbed wire per Health Canada standards.”
Their security system will comprise of a camera covering the entire outside and entrances while inside, there will be cameras to be able to monitor all the entrances.
The building itself will be constructed at 150 feet by 85 feet with a total of 12,000 square feet.
The first phase will be to build into the 10,000 square feet and leave the additional 2,000 empty for future expansion.
That 10,000 will also be Good Manufacturing Practices certified with airlocks and vestibules.
“We plan to be GMP certified which allows us to export to Europe, not just Canada,” added Nakamura.
They also added they would have a packaging room set up in their facility.
Water supply will be provided by a private pressurized line and they don’t expect much wastewater coming from the building.
“Since we are using that supercritical Co2, there really isn’t much wastewater other than what is in our bathrooms,” explained Nakamura.
For powering the facility, the group has a plan set through Fortis.
“We plan to get our power from the power line that runs along the Township Road 11-2. Power and service will be done by Fortis and for natural gas, we have the rights already acquired to be able to extend the line to come right to the facility,” said Nakamura.
With any type of processing facility, smell can be a concern for residents in the area.While the added factor of it being cannabis may lead people to believe the smell would be worse, the group doesn’t believe that will be the case due to s prevenative measure that will be set up.
“Because we are processing and not growing, there isn’t a huge amount of order. Our systems will include an HVAC system to allow the control of odour leaving the building,” stated Nakamura.
They will also have a destruction room within the building for any leftover biomass that is unusable though they are hoping in the future to have biomass be taken or collected to be used for something more beneficial than just destroying it.
“I know there are a couple of companies that are taking biomass and turning it into an absorber for oil spills and things like that,” explained Nakamura.
With any new development, traffic control can be a concern but the delegation explained how little vehicles would be moving back and forth.
“I did reach out to Leah Olsen from Transport Canada she basically told me that cannabis site are usually low traffic and we wouldn’t need to do a traffic report. On top of that, for our incoming traffic, we plan to optimize our building. So, we can take in one load every one or two weeks and ship out once every one or two weeks. As far as traffic goes, there won’t be much at all,” said Nakamura, who also highlighted a small amount of traffic would be from employees.
A motion was carried that the application be approved based on conditions set by the SDA.