You Can't Grow Cannabis Without Starting Materials

Summary

In Canada, medical marijuana patients are given a choice between growing it themselves and purchasing it from a Health Canada Licensed Producer.

Both patients and Licensed Producers alike must purchase their starting materials (seeds or live plants) from legally approved sources.

In this article we provide a brief overview of the companies involved in selling approved starting materials, and why its a big deal.

And finally, we'll share our favorite pick of them all.

In our recent interview with the 38th and newest Canadian Licensed Producer of medical marijuana, James E. Wagner Cultivation Ltd., we discussed the strains they are currently growing and the L.P. through which they obtained the starting materials for the plants.

One L.P. buying starting materials from another L.P. may seem a bit like the chicken or the egg conundrum but for Canadian Cannabis. Since one L.P. needs product from another L.P. in order to get going, we thought it would be important and interesting to point out the companies that are operating in the starting materials space.

Seeds and Clones

Starting materials can either be seeds or live plants. Often overlooked, starting materials are an important aspect of the Canadian medical marijuana program for two main reasons:

  1. Prospective and current L.P.s need legally obtained starting materials to begin cultivation

  2. Patients opting to grow their own also need legally obtained starting materials

We did a little digging and found a handful of companies that provide starting materials or plan to offer starting materials to other L.P.s as well as patients.

The Companies

According to the Health Canada website, 5 of the existing 38 licensed producers are currently offering starting materials for sale.

These L.P.s include: Canna Farms Ltd., CannTrust, Inc., MariCann Inc., THC Biomed Ltd. and Whistler Medical Marijuana Corp. Besides these four, there are other L.P.s eyeing the starting materials space as a potential opportunity.

  • THC BioMed (THCBF):THC BioMed started offering starting materials on January 23rd, and currently has 29 strains in stock. In addition to selling live plants and seeds as starting materials, THC BioMed is pursuing an acquisition of Clone Shipper. Clone Shipper developed a method of shipping plants in a self-contained environment with a battery powered LED light. THC BioMed also plans to offer a individual sized indoor cultivation unit to their "grow your own" patients in the future.
  • Whistler Medical Marijuana Corp. (21.5% owned by PharmaCan Capital PRMCF): Whistler has been offering live plant starting materials since October 2016 and is the only Licensed Producer to offer 100% certified organic starting materials. They offer four strains and ship their plants using the previously mentioned Clone Shipper.
  • Canna Farms Ltd. (Private): offers starting materials in the form of live plants.
  • CannTrust, Inc. (Private): offers seeds to patients wishing to grow at home and hopeful future L.P.s.
  • MariCann, Inc. (Pending Listing): is in the process of listing on the Toronto Venture Exchange via a reverse merger. MariCann currently offers three strains of live plant starting materials.
Graham Sorkin