Chat News Today: New Cannabis Company Coming to Medicine Hat


By: Chat Hat News / Scott Roblin,Charles Lefebvre

January 29, 2019

MEDICINE HAT, AB – A surprise announcement at Tuesday’s annual State of the City address, as hemp oil manufacturer Folium Biosciences is the newest large company to make the move to Medicine Hat.

Near the end of his address in front of a packed room of hundreds of community leaders, Mayor Ted Clugston announced two plants will be constructed over the next year, which will bring 250 full-time positions once opened.

A move that Clugston said has been over a year in the works with Folium Biosciences.

“This one just gained momentum and moved quickly, and [they] chose Medicine Hat for a reason,” said Clugston.

It’s the first foray into Canada for the Colorado-based hemp oil business, who extract and manufacture cannabis minus the psychoactive component THC.

CEO and owner Kashif Shan said the market for hemp-based health products is growing and it made sense to expand to southern Alberta.

“There are large, national domestic companies that have no interest in having any levels of THC in products that they put on the shelf,” said Shan. “But, [they] have a significant interest in these products that provide a lot of alievement in a lot of different areas.”

The project will be roughly a $30 million investment into the extraction and manufacturing plants, which will combine to cover 180,000 square feet.

Invest Medicine Hat was one of the champions of the project, as CEO Ryan Jackson said the 250 new jobs are just the tip of the iceberg.

“It’s fantastic news of course, that’s the short-term win,” said Jackson. “But, the long-term win is we’re creating a new sector.”

That sector is being based primarily in the Box Springs Business Park, which is where the Folium Biosciences facility will be located near the Aurora Sun site.

“Aurora put us on the map,” he said. “People Google Medicine Hat and this comes us, you never know what happens from a Google search. And then all of a sudden Folium comes up, and maybe someone will go, ‘What’s going on there? Let’s go take a look.’”

As for Shan, he said they looked at a few options but Medicine Hat seemed to be the best fit for their operation.

“One of the things that we look for when we’re looking to expand our operations is communities in which we’ll be welcomed,” he said. “Where they understand what we do and they’re supportive of what our mission is. So, our experience here has been phenomenal.”

Along with being the hub for Canadian hemp oil products, the Medicine Hat project will also provide opportunities in shipping to Folium’s markets in Latin America.

As for detractors of the cannabis industry, Clugston said the pros far outweigh the cons to bring businesses like Folium into the fold.

“Some people I’m sure probably don’t agree with us attracting THC and cannabinoids to Medicine Hat, but it is a growth industry and it’s outside money coming in,” he said.

Folium will also be providing seed genetics to local farms to help grow crops, hoping to contract 5,000 to 10,000 acres within the first year of operation.

Ground on the project is expected to be broken within the next few months, while the tentative opening is slated for sometime in early 2020.

CEO Kashif Shan spoke about the plans for Medicine Hat in the video below.

View the article and the videos here:

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