After more than a year of discussions, a financing deal has been reached between Atlas Growers Inc., a medical cannabis startup, and Crown corporation ATB Financial.
Earlier this week Atlas announced they would be receiving $6.25 million from the financial institution.
Clint Weir, founding director of Atlas Growers Inc., said the dollars would help the company finish the first phase of its medical cannabis facility on time, while paving the way for other cannabis startups.
“They’ve used a lot of procedures and protocols that we’ve done, and our due diligence here, to basically help structure these loans. Going forward this is going to basically be their benchmark (for other companies),” he said.
Atlas Growers Inc. is a privately owned medical cannabis facility located in Lac Ste. Anne County, northwest of Edmonton. Jim Hole, owner of Hole’s Greenhouse in St. Albert, is consulting as the director of plant health and cultivation with the company.
So far Atlas has raised $10 million in private capital to build the first phase of its medical cannabis facility. The 38,000 square-foot space is expected to be built by June.
“The intent is that sometime in the month of June we will start cultivation and get our cultivation permit from Health Canada,” he said.
Atlas Growers Inc. is one of the first privately owned cannabis companies in Canada to receive financial backing from an accredited financial institute.
Weir said the medical cannabis facility will be a state-of-the-art building with cannabis growing in different rooms. Each room’s environment will be regulated differently in terms of temperature, light and humidity.
“We’ve built this as an indoor, cannabis-only facility and we’ve catered our construction for the best cannabis growth,” he said.
In a previous interview with the Gazette, Hole said growing cannabis cultivars – or strains – can change based on the type of soil used, room temperature, humidity and the amount of sunlight on the plant.
“Even if you have a standard cannabis cultivar variety, it can be manipulated by the environment,” he said. “It’s more complicated than simply saying, there’s the cannabis cultivar and therefore I’m getting the same thing.”
Weir said the facility was more focused on making quality product in smaller quantities, rather than trying to mass-produce in large quantities.
“While we’re not the largest out there, we’re going for consistent quality medical cannabis,” he said.
Now that the company has secured $16.25 million needed to build the first phase, Weir said they’re looking to start raising capital for the second phase.
The facility will be built in four phases in total, with the second phase adding another 350,000 square feet to the building. Weir said once completed the company will have a total of 1 million square feet to its name.