Jim Hole partners with cannabis company

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Jim Hole and Hole’s Greenhouses are entering the marijuana market.

Hole has partnered with Atlas Growers, owned by an Edmonton duo who are aiming to grow medical and recreational cannabis.

Hole has been named the director of cultivation and will oversee all activities regarding plant growth and plant health.

“Hole’s has all the growing experience and retailing experience and marketing experience. Atlas has come with a great skill set and great people,” Hole said.

Hole isn’t sure quite yet how Hole’s Greenhouses will participate in the partnership.

He said it is too soon to make specific decisions because all of the rules and regulations around growing and selling the product have not been announced yet. Hole said he is open to growing and selling the product at the Enjoy Centre location. He is also considering teaching classes on how to take care of cannabis plants that can be grown at home.

So far he has not had any communication with the city regarding zoning or bylaws and he is not sure what will be allowed to exist within the city.

Before Hole’s Greenhouse space is utilized in the partnership, Atlas Growers has a separate facility outside of the city.

The Atlas Growers facility is located about half an hour west of St. Albert and north of Onoway in Lac St. Anne County. Atlas is owned and operated by Clint Weir and Sheldon Croome.

Atlas is currently building a 32,000 square foot facility but as the business grows they have the capacity to expand to 3.2 million square feet or 73.46 acres. They are planning on employing 25 people and eventually anticipate increasing to up to 600 employees.

The company is hoping to lead the way in research and they want to partner with universities to study the plant.

“We really want to be the leaders in pioneering the understanding of the plant,” Weir said.

Along with growing a medicinal product, Weir said that they will also likely sell for recreational use as well.

“We are going to emphasize our product on the medical benefits, however we are probably going to have the byproduct be that we will have to sell wholesale to some of the dispensaries. We will be also providing our services online for prescriptions for people,” Weir said.

Hole said he was excited about the partnership because of the quality of the product they will be producing.

“This facility is going to be second to none in terms of quality control to fine tune the crop,” Hole said.

The cannabis greenhouse will be using a substance known as rockwool rather than soil to grow the plants. Hole said that this will allow for total control of products put on the plant and the environment they are grown in.

“[Rockwool is] fairly common in the higher end vegetable production facilities. It allows you to fine tune and control every input in the root zone,” Hole said.

Construction of the Atlas Growers facility is underway. Completion is set for May 2018 with the goal to sell plants by July 2018.

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Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.