CanniMed Plans $10.5 Million Expansion at Saskatoon Plant

April 19, 2017

By Alex MacPherson, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

A worker inside CanniMed Therapeutics Inc.’s medical marijuana production facility southeast of Saskatoon. Photo courtesy of CanniMed Therapeutics Inc.

Canada’s first licensed medical marijuana producer is planning a $10.5 million expansion at its facility southeast of Saskatoon, which it says could allow for the production of up to 720,000 litres of cannabinoid oil each year.That’s the equivalent of 12 million 60-millilitre bottles of oil, CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. said in a news release announcing the facility, which is expected to take about 20 months to build and create 25 new full-time jobs.

‚ÄúThe expansion of our oils processing capacity will ensure ample supply of cannabinoid-based raw materials for future product development and innovation,‚ÄĚ CanniMed president and CEO¬†Brent Zettl said in a statement.

Those products are expected to include oils, which represented 46 per cent of the company’s sales last month, and gelcaps, which will be released to market soon, Zettl said in the statement.

CanniMed, which began trading publicly in December after its initial public offering netted around $69 million, is the sole owner of Prairie Plant Systems Inc. and CanniMed Ltd., which have been producing medical marijuana for more than a decade.

Last month, the company reported a first quarter loss of $3.1 million, or about $0.19 per share, on revenues totalling $3.4 million. At the same time, it reported a 93 per cent increase in sales from the first quarter of 2016.

CanniMed makes oils and other products by¬†pumping ethanol through ‚Äúcompressed cannabis flower material,‚ÄĚ according to the company, which extracts medical ingredients¬†such as THCA, then evaporating the liquid to leave a resin behind.

Premier Brad Wall said in a statement that he welcomes the company’s investment in its facility.

CanniMed announced its expansion just days after the federal government unveiled its plan to legalize recreational marijuana next year. However, the company has said previously that it remains focused on becoming a supplier to the medical community.

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