Photo courtesy Canopy Growth Corp.

Quebec-based Les Serres Stéphane Bertrand, a large Canadian greenhouse grower of tomatoes, plans to begin growing cannabis.

Bertrand has partnered with Canopy Growth Corp., a company with both medicinal and recreational marijuana brands, to create the new venture Les Serres Vert Cannabis, according to a news release.

Canopy will own two-thirds of the company, and Bertrand will own one-third.

The 700,000 square feet of greenhouse space where Bertrand currently grows tomatoes and other vegetables will be retrofitted for cannabis production, per the release. Production is expected to begin by May.

Calls and emails requesting comment from the companies, including about whether Bertrand will exit the produce business to focus on cannabis, were not returned.

The greenhouse has an organic certification, so it will be able to grow organic cannabis flowers, a first for Canopy and a differentiator for the product.

“The joint venture allows us to expand our operational footprint for greenhouse production and establish a much larger foothold in Quebec,” Bruce Linton, chairman and CEO for Canopy Growth, said in the release.

“The fusion of Canopy’s cannabis expertise with the greenhouse expertise of Les Serres Stéphane Bertrand is fantastic news for our customers and investors.”

Bertrand is not the first produce company to step into the growing cannabis business. Canadian produce grower Village Farms entered into an agreement this year to grow marijuana, creating Pure Sunfarms Corp., and has started converting a 1.1 million-square foot greenhouse for that purpose, with production to begin in July.

In addition, Canadian greenhouse industry veterans Casey Houweling and Peter Cummings are consulting, through the company Glass Investments, with cannabis companies on the design and construction of facilities for growing their product.

Submitted by Bill Knott on Tue, 12/26/2017 - 22:10

Since organic certification is product specific not facility specific possession of an organic tomatoe certificate is meaningless for marijuana. In fact I was not aware that here was such a certificate since marijuana is not a food product? Regardless the standards for production of medical marijuana are far stricter then any hokey organic certification that I have seen.