Local shop targets cannabis growers despite lack of seeds

By Jessie Weisner
November 22, 2018 - 5:07pm Updated: November 22, 2018 - 7:11pm

 

The cannabis industry has proven to be larger than expected, so now business owners are getting creative.

A Medicine Hat shop is set to open its doors next week, that capitalizes on those who want to grow their own.

Grass City Growers will look like any gardening store when it opens, but it will cater to cannabis growers along with regular gardeners.

Michael Orr, one of the owners, says when him and his partner saw a hole in the market, they took a chance when the Cannabis Act was passed.

“It has a lot to do with Bill C-45 passing,” Orr said. “Because there’s definitely gonna be a growth in hydroponics and the need for indoor equipment.”

They're stocking their shelves with fertilizers, lights and ventilators, but to grow cannabis, you need more than just than just equipment.

Alberta Gaming Liquor Cannabis (AGLC) says Orr's customers won't be able to legally find seeds.

“At this point there are no seeds to be had, there just aren’t any,” says Chara Goodings, AGLC spokesperson. “The producers have so much more I guess pressing issues and priorities to deal with in just producing actual product that's seeds are just not even on the radar.”

Goodings says seeds are one of the lowest priorities for most producers right now.

Organigram is a licensed Alberta cannabis producer. and in a statement to CHAT News they said:

“Currently, Organigram is not offering any seeds or genetic materials for sale. Currently, our primary focus is producing high-quality end cannabis products, including dried flower, pre-rolls and edible oils. To date, we have received very few inquiries from consumers (both in the medical and recreational communities) for access to genetic materials. We will continue to monitor the marketplace and gauge interest for access to genetic materials and education on how to grow a quality product as Canadians ease into this new era of cannabis legalization. Seed breeding and the care/transport of live plant genetics are complex, delicate processes. In the same respect, growing high-quality cannabis – whether at home or in a large-scale industrial setting – is a complex, delicate process. Should we decide to offer genetic materials for home growing, we will want to ensure Canadians who choose to work with our genetics are educated, prepared and set up for success. “

The AGLC isn’t only out of seeds, they put out an announcement on Wednesday saying they’re suspending all new cannabis retail licenses until further notice because they just can’t stock the shelves.

Local cannabis stores that planned on opening in coming weeks are now stuck closed, but since Grass City Growers doesn't sell actual cannabis products, it's fine to open.

Orr says he expects about half of his customers will be shopping for cannabis growing equipment, and the rest will be growing things like herbs and vegetables indoors.

So Orr says the businesses versatility should get them through the next little while.

“It did have a lot to do with the cannabis,” says Orr, “But I don’t wanna restrict ourselves just to that market you know.”

Grass City Growers opens its doors to the public on November 27th.
 

Snow angels looking to clear the way in Medicine Hat.