By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Aug. 24, 2013
There will be strawberries and spinach and lettuce, and there would be marijuana, tested and researched for efficacy, efficiency, and mass production.
A vertical farm operation named the “Plant Science Hub” hopes to be in operation by the end of year in 6.5 acres in the buildings across from the log sort on Loggers Lane, about 100 metres form the Squamish Yacht Club.
The operation, one of the biggest of its kind in B.C., will create more than 15 jobs in the community, says proponent Nick Brusatore.
The tiered crop growing, done without pesticide in regulated air temperature, can grow ten times more food than the regular farms.
But along with tens of thousands of veggies, the conditions are ripe to test and produce standardized and safe marijuana that meets all the government protocols and safety regulations.
Nick Brusatore, who is also the director of a pharmaceutical company called Abattis Bioceuticals Corp, said the company has applied for the R and D permit from the federal government.
“It allows me to grow minimal amounts to do testing for yields, for protocols, for safety, tissue analysis, and basically how to produce safety for Canadians.” Nick Brusatore.
“It allows me to grow minimal amounts to do testing for yields, for protocols, for safety, tissue analysis, and basically how to produce safety for Canadians,” he said.
The idea, he said, is to create a safe and standardized marijuana product that follows every government protocols, a far better system than, say, growing illegally in a basement.
“If they are growing in their basements, most of them are not testing for molds, pesticide use is a real problem, using soil and where it comes from, whether it has cadmium or heavy metal in it…..”
However, his company is more than willing to share this knowledge with licensed producers, even help them with distribution through a website called managed by Brusatore.
“We are interested in becoming consultant for the licensed producers,” Brusatore said.
Marijuana entrepreneurship is nothing new for Brustaore.
In 2000, he designed Power Grow System, an appliance that made growing marijuana more efficient.
The appliance resembles a wide refrigerator and plugs into a 110-volt household socket, and the plants grow with the help of a hydroponic system that grows plants itself.
“That was approved by CSA, and it would grow perfect marijuana,” he said.
Brusatore is now setting himself up as an entrepreneur if and when marijuana is legalized in Canada.
“In the event of full legalization, we are prepared to be major cultivator for the tobacco industry, and I think that is where it’s going,” he said.
“We have a lot of opportunities in Colorado and Arizona with big growing operations to install large systems in the US.”
In Squamish, he would be able to produce 60 pounds of veggies and marijuana per year every 50 square feet. And marijuana won’t be the only thing under his microscope for research.
“Strawberries are worth more than marijuana to me.”