Winnipeg, Manitoba is now home to its second licensed producer of medical cannabis. Bonify Medical Cannabis received their license to cultivate cannabis for medical purposes on Monday, April 10.
Jeff Peitsch, the President and CEO of Bonify, says he is excited to soon begin growing cannabis in their 320,000 sq ft facility. After applying in late 2014, Peitsch said the company spent the last few years refining their facility and listening to patients and doctors to better understand their needs and concerns.
“We started in 2014 and I think we’ve used our time wisely to hear patients and speak to the physician community, as well,” says Peitsch, “to hear some of the questions and concerns physicians have regarding quality assurance. For example: ensuring it’s a safe and consistent product in terms of potency, ensuring a customer receives what they purchased and the physician has comfort in what they are prescribing. We’ve put a lot of energy and effort into standardizing processes and delivering a pharmaceutical approach, but blending that with our MMAR growers’ experience.”
This focus on growers is essential, says Peitsch. He’s confident that pairing up the knowledge of the pharma world and the needs of physicians with those who have years of experience growing for medical cannabis patients will help Bonify stand out in a growing market.
“We’re really honoured to have the people we have here, ranging from MMAR growers that we’ve brought in to grow the best possible product, to high level executives from the pharmaceutical industry. We are very much focussed on ensuring all patients who require cannabis have access to a product that is of the highest grade possible.”
For those patients who want to grow their own, Peitsch says they have a solution for that, too.
“We intend to serve patients not only as as an LP, but we also have a wholly owned subsidiary called Canadian Wholesale Hydroponics, which allows us to sell directly to individuals who may not necessarily want to purchase from an LP and provide them the equipment and also support to get started if they want to do their own home grow.”
Bonify still has several months of growing, drying, curing and testing before a chance at a sales license. Peitsch says the next stage is bringing in starting material and producing their first crop for testing. Most producers wait, on average, about 6 months for a sales license.
Manitoba has over 1 million people, with about 800,000 in the Winnipeg Capital Region. Bonify was the recipient of a National Research Council Canada grant in 2015.