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The Business of Growth: Organigram Prepares for Canada’s Next Steps

Cannabis coming out of trimmer
Organigram is one of Canada’s leading licensed cannabis producers, providing patients with high-quality medical cannabis products since 2014.

As adult recreational legalization comes closer to reality, Canada’s young cannabis markets are in a time of unprecedented flux. Producers who have made their names and reputations in an industry catering to medical patients are getting ready to enter a recreational market whose rules and regulations are still developing.

While this evolution poses a challenge for Canada’s licensed cannabis producers (LPs), it’s also a huge opportunity. With the game about to change, companies that are ready to grow and serve new consumers will help to shape this massive new market.

Organigram is one of the established LPs making a strong push in this developing ecosystem. The company has served patients throughout Canada as a medical cannabis provider since 2014, when it became just the thirteenth company of its kind licensed in Canada. While dozens of LPs are now providing medical cannabis to Canadian patients, Organigram’s early entry and experience make it a veteran in the space, and one well-placed to thrive as markets evolve.

Organigram employeer in grow room

An Organigram employee monitors young plants.

Now, Organigram is working to maintain its first mover advantage with a day-one entry to the adult recreational ecosystem taking shape in Canada. And to make the most of its big entrance, the company is growing like never before.

Bigger and Better

The company’s hard-won expertise has made it a natural partner in the emerging recreational market. This summer, Organigram will be one of the first three LPs to market in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island; they’ve been successful in securing agreements with the only two Canadian provinces to move forward with formal agreements with LPs, so far. To satisfy an already growing demand that’s poised to skyrocket, the company is doing big things.

Their headquarters in Moncton, New Brunswick, is growing the space it has devoted to… well, growing. The new footprint of Organigram’s cultivation facilities will add more than 300,000 square feet of indoor, three-tiered growing space to the existing facility—and that’s just the start. Future expansion plans will see the facility grow in size again to nearly 500,000 square feet.

This growth is powered by a recent stock offering that brought in over $50 million for the company. In January, the company announced a debt convertible securities agreement that, if finalized, may result in up to additional funding over $110 million. Over the next 18 months Organigram intends to grow its Moncton campus to one largest indoor cannabis growing operations in Canada. Production is expected to jump to 65,000 kilograms of flower per year, a more than ten-fold increase over previous annual production rates.

Organigram headquarters

Organigram’s Moncton, New Brunswick, headquarters are expanding rapidly.

Branching Out

In the brave new world of Canadian cannabis, though, more product won’t mean success on its own. Organigram is working to balance this new growth with continuing quality control, ensuring that those thousands of extra kilograms of flower meet the same quality standards that Organigram’s current patients have come to expect. To maintain that standard, the company is growing its staff in both numbers and skill.

“We’re putting a team together whose background in production and manufacturing environments will help us scale appropriately without ever sacrificing quality,” says Ray Gracewood, chief commercial officer for Organigram.

cannabis plants growing

Plants in Organigram’s three-tiered growing facility. (Courtesy of Organigram)

As the company enters the more diverse adult recreational market, an expanding, state-of-the-art indoor production facility will ensure it has plenty of plant material to experiment with. That’s an important element for the team, as they work to create new, innovative products that will appeal to many different consumers.

“We’re looking to create a house of brands and product types that satisfy needs and solve problems for consumers all across the spectrum,” says Gracewood. “It’s something we’re currently working on in the medical space—better identifying what our patients need and how we can tailor our product portfolio to accommodate them.”

Indeed, new products for patients are already available, including the hand-trimmed and craft-cured Edison line, which appeals to consumers looking for a top-shelf, premium experience. Meanwhile, the recently introduced Minis line provides patients with potent-but-petite buds at a value-conscious price point.

Organigram’s cannabis extracts help provide relief to patients coping with a host of ailments.

Organigram’s growers are also constantly at work on new strains to better meet the needs of current patients. One new entry to their stable is Wabanaki, which took home the title of Top Sativa at the 2017 Canadian Cannabis Awards. And as regulations evolve to allow consumers to try offerings like extracts and edibles, Organigram will be right there with new products at the ready.

Cultivating Community

As Organigram ramps up for the future, the company is working to ensure its growth benefits the community around them as well. The government of New Brunswick has identified the cannabis industry as one that will drive economic growth in the coming years—an understanding that has shaped its positive relationship with Organigram.

“New Brunswick is our home, and it’s one of the most progressive and bullish provinces when it comes to the Canadian cannabis industry,” says Gracewood. “We’re proud of the role we’ve played in evolving that understanding of cannabis here, and it certainly makes it easier for us to maintain our status as a national brand when we have an open and supportive dialogue with the provincial government.”

cured cannabis

Careful curing helps to finish Organigram’s cannabis products.

And it’s not just cannabis that the company is tending to—they’re also cultivating local talent. Organigram helped to develop the curriculum for a new cannabis cultivation training program at nearby Dieppe Community College. By supporting local training initiatives like this one, Organigram helps to ensure that the hundreds of new jobs it expects to hire for in 2018—and beyond—are staffed by people from their own backyard.

The last four years have helped Canada’s cannabis cultivators hone their craft. The next few, though, will test how well they are able to scale up that work for recreational consumers. With a growing production facility, a supportive regulatory structure, and highly-trained new team members, Organigram is one LP that looks ready to blossom in this new environment.

  • Doris

    Sick Canadian patients are suing Organigram.

    Organigram was supposed to be 100% organic, but they got caught with cannabis that had traces of Myclobutanyl.

    • OV

      Please prove your assertion by providing links to your source (s).

    • This occured over a year ago and was the catalyst for major changes in monitoring standards for the Company. Organigram admitted their mistakes, issued a voluntary recall, made the necessary changes and has moved on from the incident. Given the inflated valuations of other “major” LP’s, I believe Organigram is in a position to deliver significant value. JMO

      • Doris

        Myclobutanil turns into Hydrogen Cyanide when heated.

        Hydrogen Cyanide is the poison used in gas chambers.

        They issued a voluntary recall after the Globe and Mail printed the caper.

        Voluntary recall was for up to a year. Folks allready had smoked the caper.

        They should of lost their licence!

    • Robert McKeown

      This stuff is used everywhere. The company corrected the issue. Let’s move on. It is used heavily to control fungi affecting wine and
      table grapes, especially in California. It also has a number of other
      food crop and commercial or residential landscaping applications.

      • Doris

        Mycloburanil turns to Hydrogen Cyanide when heated (smoked).

        Nice try Mr McKeown. Are you a shareholder?

        I think that, faced with losing a multi-million dollar crop… they, huh, you know… and since Health Canada is not looking…

        Luckily the Globe and Mail was there…

    • chewbacca the orphan

      I wouldn’t say they got “caught” doing anything, it was a mistake. Their weeds probably safer than anyone else’s given the stringent testing protocol they’ve put in place.

      • Doris

        The 88 LP’s have it all wrong.

        Gamma irradiation burns terpines.
        Smoking Gamma irradiated cannabis has never been studied.

        They are also allowed by Health Canada to spray 20 pesticides/fungicides (2 of them are from Monsanto) on flowering cannabis.

        Cannabis in flower is covered with sticky trichomes…not good.

        They also sell by the gram, so an ounce (28 grams) will be 280$ if said gram was 10$.

        Loads of internet venders selling ounce for 99$.

        Best is to grow your own, of have someone you trust growing for you.

        Only way to be sure what you put in your body.

      • Robert Johnson

        Whats their experience? Have they read the marijuana bible from rosenthal, or cervantez? Grown in dirt? Aero? Hydro? Aquaponics? Hell, have they even been fkn arrested for possessing the most beneficial plant known to man, lost their children, their homes, their careers, and their freedoms? Have they been on the front lines protesting and speaking out against the illegal prohibition, the illegal ‘drug war’, and the deception and lies orchestrated by the elite? Have they spent EVERY possible moment re educating EVERYONE who crosses their path, reputation be damned? The TRUE Drug Heroes should be in charge of this emerging industry, NOT politicians, or bureaucrats, or the rich whove seen to it that the ppl have been duped for so long, and harmed so many for so many yrs now. To the victor goes the spoils, AND I WANT MY SPOILS, and ANY pig, judge, prosecutor who has locked someone up, taken their possessions, and destroyed the family and career (and health) due to this war rooted in lies and bigotry, deserves to be locked up, and I see justice finally prevailing when, as the men in orange are exiting their cells, theyre exchanging uniforms with the boys in blue as they enter the cage. The ONLY way I, as well as my many POWs of this bllsht war, can EVER get our honor back, our dignity back, our self respect back, IS AFTER THOSE COCKSUCKERS LOSE THEIRS, cuz they sure the fk dont deserve to retire with honor or grace, from 45+yrs of service destroying the lives of those engaged in their liberty and right to the pursuit of happiness. Violating someone’s civil rights is a felony ppl, lets remember that when the fkn cops and DOJ beg us for our forgiveness for the millions of lives they CHOSE to destroy, cuz, imo, ignorance IS NO EXCUSE. The nazis werent allowed to keep their illgotten gains, y should LEOs, ANY member of the DOJ (including their secretaries), or ANYONE involved in the orchestration of this ridiculous lie ‘marijuana’, or who has benefitted from these lies. Show me 1 person from Organigram who has hf the experience I have, let alone 1 who has the balls to put this fight right in the courtroom where it belongs, suing the FBI, DEA, CIA and war generals whove prospered from the drug trade for trillions for their role in the bringing the poison to our shores, and the FBI and DEAs FAILURE to bring these TRUE criminals to justice, as CLEARLY they are coconspirators, and NOT doing the job theyre paid to do. You show me 1 person at organigram with the heart and drive to right these wrongs, or the passion I share to put LEOs in prison, and we’ll change the world, I PROMISE. After we free the POWs, we FORCE the insurance industry to finally pay for a treatment that actually WORKS, their fiduciary duty to their customers

  • DCBC

    ” Indeed, new products for patients are already available, including the hand-trimmed and craft-cured Edison line, which appeals to consumers looking for a top-shelf, premium experience. Meanwhile, the recently introduced Minis line provides patients with potent-but-petite buds at a value-conscious price point”,Leafly staff writes. This is exactly what sucks in this world, so people that can’t afford Edison line buy the junk, more people end up having to buy it and it sets a trend to grow commercial machine trimmed JUNK. Also to me hydroponics/aeroponics isn’t organic either, it’s like sun and MOON,earth,litter and water compared to artificial light no moon ,nutrient solution. Don’t get me wrong superb cannabis can be produced indoors but most of it is pretty far from what i consider organic and please don’t quote me the scientific definition..The trimming machine really bothers me what a lame way to remove the best part of the plant before you sell it.

    • Will Cunningham

      poor baby we will make sure you get it the way you want. (go fuck yourself, most of us can’t get cannabis because it’s illegal and I’d give a pinkie to get trim.

    • Robert Johnson

      I tend to agree about indoor gardening not being “natural”, but “organic” can easily be attained if u feed the plants the way mother nature would. I have an aquaponic system I built, that I raise tilapia and cannabis in a harmonic, closed loop system, feeding the plants by feeding the fish, which I have an indoor worm farm that gets all my compostables from my home/gardens. I have this in my basement, and keep fresh plants yr round, and harvest over 50lbs of fresh fish, and about 100lbs of veggies and meds every yr. I even have pepper plants that are 3yrs old now. It would be impossible to do this outdoors without an expensive greenhouse with expensive ventilation, dehumidification, heat, and light costs/bills. My current setup allows my home to benefit from the heat off the lighting in winter, and gives me a good head start in spring, and am investigating solar and geothermal alternatives to try and lower my $10k/yr utilities. Though it isnt ‘natural’, I believe I grow the cleanest and purest plants, as well as raise mercury free fish because, I get to play god, and create an ideal environment that is very beneficial to our home and family, in an area that isnt exactly agriculturally friendly, let alone cannabis friendly (US grower;). I would pit my indoor organic meds against the best in the world, and be able to provide u with a fresh baked fish on veggie dinner, all grown from my basement. Show me a ‘grower’ who can do that, and we’ll feed and cure the world for free, together. As far as trimmers go, again, I agree, and we prefer the ‘wild’ cut, pull fan and sugar leaves, hang til dry and cured, and strip from stalks into jars to be burped. ‘Pretty’ buds are for the pot snobs who know sht about REAL gardening, real heads KNOW their source, jr partiers shop at dispensaries, Carry on

  • Alf_vin

    They should have lost their license.
    It was not only myclobutanil, it was pyrethrins (known neurotoxins) and bifenazate. And thats right, not a voluntary recall so much if you only do it after its publically announced.