Marijuana plants grow at LifeLine Labs in Cottage Grove, Minn.(Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Olds marijuana production facility could produce as much as 125-million grams

A $56-million debt financing agreement shows “confidence” in an Olds-area marijuana producer’s business.

Sundial Growers, which is in the process of construction a 545,000 square foot marijuana production facility, secured a $56 million debt financing arrangement though ATB Financial on Wednesday. This will help the development of the second phase of the large cannabis production facility in Olds.

“It’s significant in two ways — number one the number is large,” said Ted Hellard, Sundial Growers. “But it’s also significant because it’s traditional debt financing from a bank.”

Hellard said it has been hard for cannabis companies to get debt financing, leading many to publicly offer shares to support the company.

Sundial expects to complete all three phases of its construction in Olds by March of 2019. When it is completed it will have 280 purpose built modular units covering 545,000 square feet. Hellard said they expect to employ as many as 600 people.

To someone on the outside looking in it wouldn’t appear to be 280 separate units, but one large facility.

“It’s a huge project, I don’t think people can really understand the size,” said Hellard. “No room is linked to any other room in terms of airflow. This will be the largest, purpose-built, cannabis facility in the world.

“It will cover about 16 CFL football fields.”

Hellards said the configuration will help the producer have a higher yield and a more consistent product.

“It’s not a throw it in your grandmother’s pot and let it grow on the porch operation,” said Hellard.

Sundial hopes to be growing in the first phase of their construction by the end of March. The second phase they hope to have operational by July 1.

Hellard said they anticipate the facility will yield between 100-million and a 125-million grams of flower, the dried cannabis.

“Canada’s cannabis sector is a rapidly emerging industry with the potential for substantial and continued growth. ATB is excited to be working with Sundial,” said Max Herrera, ATB Financial Director, Diversified Services.

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