Chad Shipmaker addresses Salmon Arm Council on Aug. 10, 2020 to provide information about new cannabis extraction and cultivation facilities planned for Salmon Arm’s industrial park. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Cannabis cultivation, extraction facilities planned for Salmon Arm

Goal to provide premium, safe, legal products to Canada and the world

A new venture in Salmon Arm aims to provide premium, safe, legal, adult-use cannabis products to Canada and the world.

Chad Shipmaker came to Salmon Arm council on Aug. 10 to formally share plans regarding establishment of a licensed cannabis cultivation facility and a licensed cannabis extraction laboratory in the Salmon Arm Industrial Park.

Shipmaker explained that newly formed Pantheon Cannabis Corporation, which will be housed in the 32,000 sq.ft. facility under construction on Auto Road, will focus on growing premium, high-quality cannabis flower.

Down the street will be the Midas Extraction Corporation, also a newly formed Salmon Arm company. It will operate from a laboratory that will serve as a dedicated manufacturing facility for cannabis-derived products.

“This lab will partner with other hemp and cannabis cultivators to manufacture a variety of oils, concentrates and extracts for sale through government-regulated retailers,” Shipmaker told council.

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Each of the new entities will use the expertise of Prism Equipment, a third company under the umbrella of the Pantheon Group. It engineers and manufactures systems for modern cannabis operations – both cultivation and extraction.

Prism Equipment was incorporated in 2019 and operates from the Salmon Arm Innovation Centre.

In terms of Salmon Arm, Shipmaker said not only will the Pantheon Cannabis Group contribute to the tax base, it will also contribute to the economy by providing new employment opportunities with attractive benefits and a living wage.

He emphasized that many of the positions are very technical in nature, particularly related to the extraction laboratory.

“We want to be cautious about projections and promises, but at this point we anticipate at least 50 new well-paid jobs…”

He said while there may still be a slightly negative stigma around the industry with some residents, he is confident they would be a minority.

Shipmaker listed a number of attributes of the new facilities.

The buildings are in the industrial park, far away from schools and neighbourhoods. They will be monitored 24/7 and protected against unauthorized access and fire by comprehensive software and well-trained operators.

No odor will escape the buildings because both facilities will contain rechargeable charcoal canister filters that operate inline with the air handling systems.

Along with meeting standards set out by Health Canada, he said both facilities will be constructed to meet European Union Good Manufacturing Practice (EU GMP) which will allow Pantheon to export to international markets.

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Shipmaker said while some might question the viability of investing heavily in the new industry, the principals see many similarities in the cannabis experience in Canada to the initial dot-com bubble which was fraught with speculation.

“But after that bubble burst, it was slowly replaced by tech companies that actually made money.”

Along with focusing on establishing a durable, profitable long-term venture, he said a talented team has been recruited to guide it.

“For example, our chief scientific officer has many years experience in the legal cannabis industry, as well as a PhD in analytical chemistry… Our newly recruited CFO was recently recruited away from a multi-billion dollar publicly traded forestry company.”

The Midas lab is expected to be complete and ready to apply for a Health Canada licence for standing processing in the autumn. The Pantheon cultivation facility is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2021.

Following the presentation, Salmon Arm council voted unanimously to provide Shipmaker with a letter of support.


marthawickett@saobserver.net
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