Regina's 1st legal micro cannabis cultivator offers locally-grown products
REGINA -- Regina’s first micro cannabis cultivator, VIGR Life Cannabis (VLC), is now offering products at local cannabis stores.
VLC operates a growing facility in Regina with two adjacent micro cultivation systems, including 24 grow rooms. It took over the building in 2019, received its growing licences in October and started growing its first crops right away.
VLC’s first cannabis crop was put onto local shelves on April 20, also known as 4/20, a day that cannabis users celebrate the plant.
“Couldn’t happen on a better day. 420, day celebrated around the world for cannabis,” Jared Dumba, VLC chief operating officer said.
A total of 4,400 plants are grown on each side of the building, and makeup two different strains. Modified sea can storage containers are used for growing, with strong lighting for the plants.
“On a commercial scale it’s just a little bit more dialled in in regards to your lighting, high performance LED’s, high intensity CO2 supplementation,” Dylan Bailey VLC master grower said.
Unlike larger corporate operations that use robots for cultivating, VLC uses humans instead, which it says allows for more product care.
Bailey said VLC does not use pesticides, and one of the biggest challenges of the indoor facility is setting up the right environment for the plant to grow.
“What all the technology does is it allows us to read the plant at a more minute level in order to make the right decisions,” Dumba said.
INCREASE IN CANNABIS USE
VLC’s products are already available in stores like Farmer Jane in Regina’s East end, which has seen a steady climb in sales since it opened in January.
“What I’ve noticed is just a gradual trend upwards as we become more established,” Gaelan Malloy, Farmer Jane Aurora general manager said.
According to Statistics Canada, cannabis use has increased nationwide during the pandemic. In 2018, 22 per cent of the population reported using cannabis. That went up to 25 per cent in 2019 and to 27 per cent in 2020.
Saskatchewan also saw an increase in cannabis use. In 2018, 19 per cent of the population reported using cannabis. That went up to 25 per cent in 2019 and to 27 per cent in 2020.
More people are also buying from legal sources nationwide. In 2019, 24 per cent of users said they bought from a legal store which increased to 41 per cent in 2020. As well, 13 per cent of users still say they buy from an illegal source.
Bailey said black market users were the pioneers of cannabis use and 4/20 is a good time to celebrate those who helped get them to where they are today.
“The black market, we don’t see it as competition. They’re doing their thing and we’re doing something completely different,” Dumba said.