Work has started on the construction of a 50 thousand square foot, cutting edge cannabis research and development facility in Kelowna's most northernmost reaches.
Hawthorne Canada, a subsidiary of U-S giant, Scott's Miracle-Gro, is partnering with the Canadian-owned Flowr Corporation which is already ramping up cannabis production in an adjacent 85 thousand square foot indoor cultivation building.
"It's the first of it's kind," said Vinay Tolia, CEO of Flowr. "It's the first R and D facility in North America dedicated to the growing of cannabis."
Hawthorne's Chris Hagedorn said his company had no options in the United States to legally establish an R and D facility like this. "Our core business sells billions of dollars worth of tomato food and other things that we would never dream of launching into the market without testing them on the actual plant," said Hagedorn. "Since we can't do that in the U-S, we looked to Canada."
Hawthorne was impressed with the high-tech style of production that the Flowr Corporation has established at it's McCarthy Road operation. Together, the two facilities are expected to employ 200 people.