Forbes magazine reports that a company based in Michigan has been approved to compete with Prairie Plant Systems in the growing and selling of medical marijuana to registered Canadian patients. Creative Edge Nutrition of Madison Heights makes health supplements in the US and through their Canadian subsidiary, CEN Biotech, the firm announced in November that Health Canada had given them the green light to get growing. They will be the first US company to do so for the Canadian market.
Construction is already underway on a marijuana manufacturing center that is so close to Michigan we can probably see it. The 58,000 square foot facility in Lakeshore, Ontario will be producing cannabis in 7 months for a market that will include Israel, Uruguay, Iran and North Korea. The facility will feature laser sensors, night vision cameras and a radio frequency tagging system for the plants.
At a cost of $16 mil Canadian, the investment is a drop in the bucket for Creative Edge. CEO Bill Chaaban told Forbes, “By the end of year five we’ll be doing $100 million in sales.” The article lists the major players in the Creative Edge investment as “companies that deal in alcohol and tobacco, entertainment industry players and sports figures.”
CEN plans to produce cannabis at a fraction of the cost reported by the companies currently distributing to the Canadian market, who currently sell marijuana for between $5 and $6 Canadian per gram. That’s roughly equal to $4.75 – $5.50 US per gram. Chaaban claims he can produce marijuana for $.80 to $1 Canadian per gram, which would be welcome news to that country’s registered medical marijuana patients.
Prairie Plant Systems is one of three approved and producing companies currently supplying the Canadian medical marijuana market; in 2013 they successfully used lobbying efforts to jam a bill through both housesof Michigan’s legislature within a month and a half. That bill creates a law that would establish industrial cultivation of marijuana distributed through big-box pharmacies; a last-minute amendment from Governor Snyder cemented the need for a federal rescheduling of marijuana to take place before cannabis can be cultivated and sold in this manner.
Governor Snyder signed the bill, SB 660, into law before the end of 2013. It is now called Public Act 268 of 2013.