A Pitt Meadows hemp business is seeking approval from Pitt Meadows council to expand its operations.
Naturally Splendid, which has produced hemp-based food products for people, dogs and horses from its plant at Golden Ears Business Park on Airport Way, now wants to extract CBD – or cannabidiol – from cannabis.
CBD is an extract from the plant that does not have psychoactive effects, but is being researched for medicinal properties.
There is currently a shortage of CBD in Canada.
Brian Carson, Naturally Splendid co-founder, said CBD is in wide use in the U.S. in everything from foods to shampoos and topical creams.
“They are putting CBD in everything,” adding there is only enough to supply an estimated three per cent of the demand.
He said the price ranges, but is approximately $12,500 per kilogram in Canada.
Naturally Splendid would like to use CBD in its own products, but that will be subject to licensing approval from Health Canada.
Carson said the company aims to be a leader in hemp-based health products.
The federal approval is linked to the rezoning in Pitt Meadows, he added.
Naturally Splendid would like to add another 4,500 square feet of laboratory space for extraction equipment.
Lisa Grant, City of Pitt Meadows director of community services, told council earlier this month that the company will need rezoning approval to expand into a new building at Golden Ears Business Park.
The company’s application included a request the city not preclude it from using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, in the future.
She noted the business currently employs 35 people and would add five to seven new positions with the expansion.
Carson said the company is looking at a second shift, which could add another 20 jobs.
The city would need to address security and odour issues, which are the most common complaints with marijuana businesses, said Grant.
The city would also do inspections at three and nine months, then every 12 months thereafter. The business must have an engineer-designed odour control system, and meet requirements that odour not travel past the property line.
Grant noted that retail sales at the site have been outright prohibited.
Council has approved first and second reading of the bylaw, which goes to public hearing on May 28.
Naturally Splendid is a public company that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange.