Marijuana production facility will be massive


Will cover 600,000 square feet by 2019

The Sundial Growers Inc. marijuana production facility under construction in Olds will be massive by the time it’s completed in the summer or fall of 2019.

During a Feb. 16 breakfast meeting at the Olds Legion organized by the Olds & District Chamber of Commerce and Uptowne Olds, Sundial Growers president Geoff Thompson gave some details on what to expect.

“We’re building out about 600,000 square feet of facilities between now and summer to fall of 2019,” he told the packed room of about 120 people.

Thompson said the project, in the town’s southeast industrial park, west of the cemetery, is divided into four 10-acre parcels.

The first 10-acre parcel will feature a 33,000-square-foot facility. Thompson anticipates construction of that building will be completed by June or July.

Modular units covering a total of 210,000 square feet will be installed on the second 10-acre segment. Construction there is expected to be completed some time between July and September.

The third parcel will feature another 210,000-square-foot structure.

The fourth will house the company’s distribution facilities from which the finished product will be trucked to Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission facilities.

An extraction facility to create oils will also be constructed.

“Everything is planned to be finished by the fall of 2019 and fully licensed for production by the end of 2019,” Thompson said.

“From a jobs standpoint, we will hire about 25 people for every 30,000 square feet, so we’re projecting about 500 jobs to be hired for those facilities.”

Thompson was asked if the production facilities will create an odour.

“We’ll never say never,” he said with a smile.

“Under the Health Canada rules, we have to have filters such that you can’t smell the cannabis,” Thompson said, sparking laughter and cries of “awww.”

“And you can’t stand upwind or downwind,” he added, sparking more laughter.

Thompson said the company has to follow strict rules on managing the smell, dictated by Health Canada.

“I’ve been at the Rocky View facility a number of times and you can tell when the filters have to be changed. And it’s not a bad smell anyway, it’s just – you can tell,” Thompson said. “So we change them on a very regular basis and it’s our job to make sure we do that properly.”

“The great thing about Olds is about 80 to 90 per cent of the winds that blow in Olds are from the north to the south or from the west to the east,” Mayor Mike Muzychka said. “And with these production facilities being in the southeast corner of Olds, those winds should blow everything out, and away from town.”

“From a jobs standpoint, we will hire about 25 people for every 30,000 square feet, so we’re projecting about 500 jobs to be hired for those facilities.”


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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.