Victoria’s small-batch growers of cannabis will soon have a home to get a head start in the business.
The owners of the 50-acre Sooke Industrial Park have carved out just under a third of the land to establish buildings that will house both micro-cultivators and a production facility.
It is called the B.C. Canna Park and it is already zoned for cannabis growing and production, with the necessary power supply, security and a partnership with the landlord for packaging and marketing.
“As that market started maturing, we noticed there really was nowhere for micro-growers to go and they will have a hard time getting into the marketplace without zoning,” said Ian Laing, who along with partner Mike Forbes directs B.C. Canna Park and Specialty Medijuana Products, a licensed cultivator that also grows and produces on site.
The facility will offer growers the chance to design their own grow space. The first phase is a six-unit building that will provide about 4,500 square feet to each grower.
That first building is expected to be finished in six or seven months. A second building with 28 units should be completed within the next 14 months. A 20,000-square-foot production facility is also being established on site.
Laing said they have sold out the first phase and are currently selling space in the 28-unit block.
The park has enthusiastic support from one of its neighbours.
Mike Hicks, director for the Juan de Fuca district at the Capital Regional District, has his offices across the lot from the B.C. Canna Park.
“I can’t be more excited. It will probably be the biggest employer in the Sooke region, second only to the sawmill that was in Sooke,” he said. “This is not just a great idea, it’s the greatest for our area.”
Hicks said the tax implications alone are monstrous, as the buildings could hold 34 growers and employ as many as 200 people.