CARP – Yesterday (Oct. 5), West Carleton Online shared the news of a proposal for a marijuana grow operation and processing plant earmarked for the Carp Airport area.

Today, we spoke with CannaGenetics Premium Cannabis Products Incorporated President and Chief Executive Officer Geoff Graham about the project.

Graham was quick to point out, because the project to build a soilless, indoor marijuana facility on Russ Harvey Road near the Carp Airport has yet to receive a zoning amendment approval from the city, he doesn’t have a lot of information he can share, but Graham was able to fill in some of the details.

CannaGenetics President and CEO Geoff Graham.
CannaGenetics President and CEO Geoff Graham

“It’s very important for me to strategically locate our business at the airport in Carp,” Graham said. “I am excited because of what our project brings to the community – high paying jobs, tax revenues and future growth, especially now in a time when things are unfortunately shutting down amidst a global pandemic.”

Established in 2018, CannaGenetics Inc. is a Canadian-based precision aeroponics (no-soil) company that aims to cultivate, process, package and distribute premium high-percentage Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol 9CBD) medical and adult use cannabis products for Canadians.

If successful in its zoning amendment application, the company will operate from its wholly owned 10.45 acre property at the Carp Airport in the nation’s capital and pending final approvals, “will begin construction of its flagship 42,900 sq. ft precision aeroponics facility in 2021.”

“Our building is specifically designed to maximize the use of the innovation, allowing our expert grow team to focus on developing the best cannabis genetics and ensuring plant health,” Graham said. “As a fully automated, non-soil, precision aeroponics producer, CannaGenetics will stand apart in all areas of indoor production metrics such as canopy space maximization and yield per square foot.”

Graham says the Carp location is perfect for the flagship building.

“The facility does not adjoin high-use public areas; sits privately on our secured lot of 10.45 acres; is not visible from Carp road; is set back from high traffic intersections; has secure means of ingress and egress; and, is not located near any schools, freeways, residential housing or places of worship,” Graham said. “The location provides a significant advantage when it comes to hiring great talent locally. With most producers located far outside the city limits, they have been challenged with hiring and retaining staff due to long travel times and remote locations. Ottawa is a recognized high-tech hub, and we look forward to tapping into the incredible talent pool Ottawa has to offer.”

Graham says the facility will meet all of the strict Health Canada security standards.

“We will adhere to state-of-the-art security protocols to secure both the perimeter and interior of our building, safeguarding our people and products,” Graham said.

Exterior security fencing, electronic surveillance, vehicle gates and key card entry/exit points with motion detectors and video recording will monitor the inside of all exterior doors and windows.

The facility will also control odor that may be emitted in the production of its products.

“Cannabis production will be organized into a series of separately sealed clean rooms that utilizes multiple filtration systems to ‘scrub’ the air providing an odor-free exterior environment.” Graham said.

Graham says no “hazardous or harmful contaminants” are used at the facility.

The facility plans on building its own well for water use on the premises, but says the growing system CannaGenetics uses, does not need a lot of water.

“Unlike traditional soil or coco coir producers, CannaGenetics utilizes the latest in cannabis innovation and automation in a soil-free environment,” Graham said. “Aeroponics utilizes 90 per cent less water, and 70 per cent less nutrients.”

Water is captured and then recirculated, dramatically decreasing the use of resources the company will utilize. Commercial reverse osmosis systems will be used for processing water entering the facility and to filter wastewater and remove dissolved solids from runoff water leaving the facility.

“We do not expect any toxic elements to be found in any our discharge water result being highly mineralized shallow ground water, diluted by rainwater,” Graham said.

Graham says CannaGenetics intentionally avoided entering the industry early on following the legalization of marijuana.

“We have been waiting until now to enter the space, after the ground has settled and the sector became more stable,” Graham said. “The large companies are still strapped with the business models they started with and we see many gaps in the sector that CannaGenetics can fill. Over the past three years, it was my mission to seek out the best people, newest technologies and innovations centered around developing the best quality and cost-efficient premium medical and adult use cannabis products offered today.”

Graham expects the company to turn a profit early on.

“CannaGenetics is in position to get it right the first time with leading-edge, non-soil technology, and an expectation to be profitable in our first year of operation,” he said. “”Our products will address a wide spectrum of cannabis use, both medically and recreational, targeting specific benefits and health and wellness advantages for users. Our team hopes to put Carp and the City of Ottawa on the map as a leader in pharmaceutical grade medical and adult use cannabis space in Canada.”