Plans are underway in Southwestern Ontario to begin constructin the largest outdoor cannabis farm in Canada. 48North is the first company in the country to have its application approved, allowing them to start cultivating cannabis outdoors in Ontario. According to The London Free Press, now that the location has received the go-ahead from Health Canada, farmers will begin planting more than 250,000 marijuana plants over the coming weeks.
The colossal farm, located in Brant County, west of Hamilton, Ontario, will create more than 250 jobs. This will include 50 full-time staff and more than 200 seasonal team members once the farm becomes fully operational. When all initial building work has been completed, jobs will become available in construction, harvesting and processing the cannabis.
The amount of staff required could grow even further, according to 48North’s co-CEO and director, Jeannette Vandermarel. On Tuesday, Vandermarel spoke to CTV News Kitchener and explained that there is so much growth potential in the market, and that the need for staff could continue to increase. She also noted that 48North intend to hire staff from within the local community, which would be an ideal gig for anyone in the area looking for an unusual summer job or a career change of scenery!
Vandermarel also mentions that the outdoor farm could yield upwards of 40,000-kilograms from this summer’s crop, which could potentially leave the property vulnerable to thieves.
While there are no plans to disguise the plants, which can reach heights of six metres, security at the farm will not be taken lightly. In a video for The London Free Press, Vandermarel explains that the property will be guarded by more than 2,500 metres of razor wire fencing, motion detectors and upwards of 100 security cameras to monitor movements across the 100-acre farm. With so many acres of valuable goods, the owners have confirmed that the protection of the farm and the plants are a priority.
The company already operates two indoor cannabis facilities in Ontario, in Kirkland Lake and Brantford, but the owners told CTV News Kitchener that this particular undertaking is “unprecedented” in Canada. The outdoor farm is expected to yield around 30,000 kilograms more cannabis this summer than their two indoor locations combined.
The benefits of moving from an indoor facility to an outdoor farm are simple: space and price. According to Vandermarel, while it costs $2 to grow a gram of marijuana indoors, it costs less than a quarter of that to grow outdoors at around 25 cents per gram. The ability to plant outdoors means that farmers are able to grow the plants faster, wider, and taller, producing better crops more quickly and at a better cost for everyone.
It is expected that these outdoor pot farms will continue to pop up around the country after Health Canada lifted their ban on outdoor cannabis cultivation in 2018. Locations in Creemore and Salt Spring Island have recently had applications granted, with almost 200 existing applicants still awaiting approval.
*The cover image in this article was used for illustrative purposes only.