After years of work, GrenEx licensed as first Edmonton cannabis company

After years of preparation, an Edmonton company has finally received a licence to start operating the city’s first medical cannabis grow op.

GrenEx Pharms Inc. has spent about $4 million developing a 930-square-metre marijuana cultivation facility inside a former south Edmonton warehouse, but Health Canada only issued a licence Sept. 29 after initially approving the proposal in 2013.

“It’s been sitting empty for two years almost completely built out … Health Canada doesn’t want an oversupply, to prevent illicit activity, so they want production to meet demand,” GrenEx chief executive John Simon said during a tour of the site.

“There’s so many opportunities in this business for medical products, formulations, export, but they’re not open to the company until you get that licence. We’re in the club now, so I think we’re OK with whatever it took to get here.”

Alberta now has four of Canada’s 64 licensed producers. 

Simon, who has a background in

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