In the bowels of Ono Cannabis

Ono Cannabis now supplies the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) and its Ontario counterpart, the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation, better known as the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). The firm eventually aims to break into other Canadian provinces.

Another customer has just been added. “In recent months, we have sought the necessary accreditations to produce cannabis for medical purposes for Germany. We have had agreements with the German authorities, which will allow us to export there,” says Steven Sirois, co-founder and cultivation master at Ono Cannabis.

“In Canada, the medical market was already present before the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes. This last sector has taken a greater share almost everywhere in Canada.

— Steven Sirois, co-founder and cultivation master at Ono Cannabis

“But internationally, it’s a bit of the same sequence that we experienced in Canada. So, first, countries will tend to prioritize the medical side before legalizing the recreational side.”

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Over the past year, a first expansion of the facilities on the South Shore of Quebec has already taken place. (Frédéric Matte/Le Soleil)

Enlargement

Over the past year, a first expansion of the facilities on the South Shore of Quebec has already taken place. “We visited the first part of our expansion,” says Mr. Sirois at the end of the visit. “The five additional new flowering rooms have allowed us to go from a ton [1000 kilogrammes] to five tons [5000 kg] of production per year. And to go from 10 to 45 employees in the last year.”

But it is not finished. A new phase of expansion is in the works.

“In the coming months, we will add another cultivation floor, which will give us up to nine cultivation rooms in total. This will allow us to approach 10 tonnes of production per year. And we should reach 80 employees in total,” adds the co-founder.

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The cannabis cuttings are placed in vertical planters where they will be continuously irrigated by spraying with recovered, treated and recycled water. (Frédéric Matte/Le Soleil)

Vertical production

In order not to take up too much space, Ono Cannabis focuses on vertical production, with aeroponics. To summarize, the plants come from cuttings cut from mother plants. These cuttings are placed in rock wool so that they form roots.

Then, the cuttings are placed in vertical planters where they are continuously irrigated by spraying with recovered, treated and recycled water. No soil is used to eliminate possible contamination. The plants are then dried before cutting and packaging.

“By doing this, we take up four times less space than if we had greenhouses,” illustrates Mr. Sirois. “With greenhouses, we would have up to 300,000 square feet.”

The process from cutting the cutting to packaging the product ready for delivery takes a total of four months.

>>>It was buzzing with activity at Ono Cannabis.>>>

It was buzzing with activity at Ono Cannabis. (Frédéric Matte/Le Soleil)

New general director

Ono Cannabis has a new general manager, Christine Carrier, in its ranks.

“Christine comes from LKQ, the company specializing in automobile parts recycling,” explains Alexandre Blais, marketing director. “She has particular expertise in production processes and is specialized in internal systems. With our upcoming expansion, she will be able to coordinate all of that.”

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