UPDATE: It turns out more than one licensed medical marijuana company had its product seized at a British Columbia airport last week.
Shortly after reports started coming in that Smiths Falls, Ont., marijuana manufacturer Tweed Inc. had a shipment of marijuana seized by the RCMP at Kelowna’s airport last week, another medical marijuana grower has come forward to make the same claim.
Toronto-based Mettrum Ltd., one of 12 companies so far licensed by Health Canada under the new medical marijuana regime, told Canada.com it had permission from the federal department to buy weed from growers in B.C.
The RCMP so far has not commented to the media on the two seizures, which took place on the same day last week.
Mettrum spokesperson Keelan Green told Canada.com that confusion surrounding the new rules is likely behind the RCMP’s move. He said the seizure amounts to “a bit of a delay.”
Original story follows below
An eastern Ontario manufacturer at the forefront of Canada’s budding medical marijuana business is trying to find answers after the RCMP seized a shipment of marijuana it had ordered.
The incident highlights the gray legal area in which medical marijuana manufacturers are opening up shop, under Health Canada’s new rules.
Tweed Inc., which became Canada’s first publicly-traded medical marijuana manufacturer on Friday, says the RCMP seized a shipment of pot at the Kelowna airport that the company had bought from a grower licensed under the previous regime.
The company said in a statement it had informed the RCMP of the shipment beforehand “in an effort to be transparent.”
“We felt everything was done absolutely correctly,” Tweed chairman Bruce Linton told the National Post. “When you call police to say, ‘Come look at this,’ you believe you have everything in order.”
Story continues below
A view of Tweed Inc.’s mother room, where plants are subjected to 24 hours of light each day to encourage growth.
The Tweed Inc. medical marijuana facility is across the street from the Smith’s Falls police detachment. The police have toured the plant and had one request: don’t put a giant marijuana leaf on the front of the building.
Tweed CEO Chuck Rifici stands in front of the hydroponics centre. The black vats contain fertilizer, while the silver ones are refurbished sugar containers from the Hershey’s operation which now contain water.
Tweed has been busy transforming the former chocolate factory into a massive marijuana growing operation that will cover 150,000 square feet.
A Tweed employee re-pots some plants in the “mother room,” home to the 1,300 starter plants that are used to propagate more.
Rifici stands in front of the company’s 5,000-square-foot vault that can store up to 15 million grams, or $150 million-worth, of dried marijuana.
Each of Tweed’s plants is labelled with a bar code identifying its strain and origin so that it can be traced throughout the growing process.
Rifici stands in front of the highly secure and sanitary mother room.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are Tweed’s biggest expense, but the company also uses low-tech fans from Canadian Tire to keep air flowing.
The entrance to the Tweed facility.
The golden letters that once adorned the front of the Hershey’s factory now lie in an unused corner of the building.
The old Hershey’s Canada plant was shuttered in 2008, putting some 600 people out of work.
NEXT: WHICH PROVINCE TOKES THE MOST?
Canada - 12.2 Per Cent
3,429,678 people These are the <a href="http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130918/dq130918a-eng.htm" target="_blank">StatsCan totals</a> for Canadians age 15 years and older in the 12 months of 2012. Use included cannabis and hashish.
10. Saskatchewan - 10.1 Per Cent
9. P.E.I. - 10.4 Per Cent
8. New Brunswick - 11 Per Cent
7. Newfoundland And Labrador - 11.1 Per Cent
6. Quebec - 11.5 Per Cent
5. Manitoba - 11.5 Per Cent
4. Alberta - 11.8 Per Cent
3. Ontario - 12.1 Per Cent
2. B.C. - 14.2 Per Cent
1. Nova Scotia - 14.8 Per Cent
115,285 people <a href="http://huff.to/18g3q4l" target="_blank">Trailer Park Boys thesis proved</a>.
NEXT: WEED PRICES BY PROVINCE AND STATE
Pot price by province and select U.S. states
This data is based on crowdsourced averages from PriceOfWeed.com. Numbers are for "high quality" weed, as identified by submitters.
Quebec: $191.51 per ounce
Cheapest weed in Canada.
Prince Edward Island: $193.29 per ounce
New Brunswick: $193.90 per ounce
British Columbia: $200.07 per ounce
Oregon: $214.79 per ounce
Cheapest weed in the U.S.
Alberta: $226.55 per ounce
Manitoba: $227.86 per ounce
Ontario: $237.24 per ounce
Saskatchewan: $239.31 per ounce
California: $249.79 per ounce
Nova Scotia: $272.26 per ounce
Newfoundland and Labrador: $292.73 per ounce
Northwest Territories: $333.33 per ounce
New York State: $353.90 per ounce
North Dakota: $415.89 per ounce
Most expensive weed in the U.S.
Most expensive weed in Canada.
A Health Canada spokesperson confirmed to the Post the department had given Tweed the green light to purchase marijuana from a licensed grower. The company says it had to buy product because it hadn’t anticipated the large demand from licensed buyers, who are ordering several times more marijuana per head than the company expected.
Meanwhile, Tweed Inc.’s shares debuted on the TSX Venture Exchange Friday, where they opened at $4.60 per share -- much higher than the asking price of 85 cents -- before finally settling down to close at $2.59 per share.
That gives the company a market value of about $90 million. Tweed is aiming to capture about $100 million of Health Canada’s projected $1.3 billion annual medical marijuana market.
Canada's medical marijuana companies are open for business under Health Canada's new regime. So far, the department has approved 12 companies to grow and sell pot to patients, but there are another 600 applicants waiting in the wings.
Here's an interactive map of where Canada's new legal pot manufacturers are located. Note that the addresses provided are based on the P.O. boxes provided to Health Canada, and not necessarily the location of the marijuana plants themselves.
Also on HuffPost: