With the legalization of adult use recreational cannabis expected within months, one of the country's first licensed medical marijuana companies is gearing up to help supply the market.
Organigram, located in a highly secure facility in Moncton, has been a licensed producer of medical cannabis since 2013, supplying product to clients across Canada. While the product is obviously highly regulated and controlled in terms of both production and sale, the company is using essentially the same approach most businesses take when entering a new market. They are enlarging their product lines, undergoing a multi-phase expansion to their facility to handle the anticipated increase in production and hiring additional staff. "We take the launch and success of the Canadian recreational cannabis market – and our leadership within that market – very seriously,” said company CEO Greg Engel. “We’ve assembled a best-in-class team to deliver a best-in-class product to Canadian cannabis consumers." Engel went to say "We’ve also made every effort to ensure that safety and product quality remain our top priorities. We look forward to new, ever-evolving opportunities to continue to serve our Canadian customers and lead in this new and dynamic global industry.”
Organigram has an agreement with the New Brunswick government to supply a minimum of five million grams of marijuana for resale annually. A memorandum of understanding signed with PEI calls for the company to supply at least one million grams. The New Brunswick deal alone is estimated to have a retail value of between $40 and $60 million per year.
Not surprising, Engel and other company officials have been watching the debate in the House of Commons and the Senate on the cannabis legalization bill with more than a passing interest. The company CEO said the process has been "challenging" but "As a company, we hope we will have the opportunity to work with government and other stakeholders to arrive at a final version of the law that will represent the best interests of Canadians and this new industry.”
Just like any other food product, Organigram has a strong commitment to public safety. According to Ray Gracewood, the company's chief commercial officer, "There is no successful cannabis market or industry without an unwavering commitment to public safety." When the sale of their recreational marijuana products become legal , the company plans to work with the both provinces to offer programs aimed at encouraging the use of the product in a socially responsible manner.