Canadian firm buys Florida land to boost medical marijuana output

The Canadian holder of a license to cultivate medical marijuana in Florida plans to expand its production capacity in the state by more than 35 times to capitalize on the launch of the Sunshine State’s full-fledged MMJ market.

Liberty Health Sciences, which is based in Toronto and trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol LHS, will purchase 36 acres of land in Alachua County, Florida, for $866,975 in cash, the company announced in a news release.

The parcel is adjacent to the company’s existing 13,000-square-foot grow facility at Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, which produces 700 kilograms (about 1,543 pounds) of MMJ annually. Liberty holds one of Florida’s 11 MMJ cultivation licenses.

Liberty’s expansion on the new site will be phased in over the next two years.

Initially, the company will construct adjoining greenhouses totaling 33,000 square feet of growing space. The move will increase annual medical cannabis production to 2,800 kilograms (6,173 pounds) by January 2018.

By December 2019, the new annual production capacity is projected to surge to 25,000 kilograms, with the growing space increasing to 435,600 square feet.

According to the latest state data, Florida’s total patient count was just shy of 27,000.

Aphria, a licensed MMJ producer based in Leamington, Ontario, is Liberty’s largest shareholder with a 37% stake. Aphria licenses its greenhouse growing intellectual property to Liberty.