Funds obtained for cannabis facility development


Enables development to be 'accelerated'

Sundial Growers Inc., one of three firms getting into the marijuana production industry in Olds, has secured $56 million in debt financing to accelerate development of the second phase of its flagship cannabis production facility here.

The financing was arranged through ATB Financial and announced Wednesday.

The debt financing will be used to support two distinct projects for phases 2 and 3 of the Olds facility, which is being developed in the southeast industrial park, just west of the cemetery.

The initial $34 million of senior financing will be used to fund the development of a 210,000-square-foot modular structure composed of three 70,0000-square-foot production pods as well as a 30,000-square-foot expansion of Olds Phase 1.

The additional $22 million will be used to fund the development of another 210,000-square-foot modular facility as part of the Phase 3 development of the expansion.

That announcement comes on the heels of an earlier announcement that the company had finalized an $11 million private debt financing arrangement to help fund Phase 1 of the facility.

“This arrangement combined with private investor capital committed to date provides Sundial with the funding needed to complete Phase 1 of the Olds facility,” a news release says.

Phase I is expected to be completed by June this year. It will cover 35,000 square feet, and when fully licensed, will produce an estimated 3.8 million grams of dry cannabis annually.

By the end of this year, 30,000 square feet of additional grow space will be added to the building, bringing the annual total production capacity of Phase 1 to almost 10 million grams.

Sundial owns an additional 30 acres of land adjacent to the Phase 1 building.

Phase 2 of the Olds facility will utilize a modular construction. The company says that will allow Sundial to maximize yield by creating segmented and environmentally-controlled individual grow rooms.

“This modular approach will give Sundial a number of sustainable advantages, including highly controlled environments that will create the optimal conditions for each individual strain in our diverse inventory of cultivars,” Sundial’s executive chairman, Ted Hellard says in a news release.

“Innovative manufacturing and construction techniques will also enable Sundial to build our facility faster and will allow us to be agile and flexible in our future expansion plans. Upon completion of Phase 3 by 2019, Sundial will have the largest purpose-built indoor cannabis facility in the world, right here in Olds.”

A release ramps up the number of employees anticipated, compared to figures quoted by Sundial president Geoff Thompson earlier. Thompson pegged the figure at about 500. Hellard indicates more than 650 will be employed in the facility.

On Tuesday, the company announced that Torsten Kuenzlen is Sundial’s new chief executive officer.

“Kuenzlen joins Sundial with over 20 years of global consumer goods experience, bringing best practices from leading Fortune 500 companies, including Molson Coors and The Coca Cola Company,” a news release says. “His expertise in sales, customer management, marketing and supply chain management will benefit the Sundial leadership team immediately.”

“This is a key milestone in our long-term strategy of becoming a leading licensed cannabis producer in Canada”


About Author

Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.