TSX IPO, Health Canada sales licence, for Aylmer medicinal marijuana producer
AYLMER – A final federal hurdle cleared, and an impressive IPO to boot, are putting budding medicinal marijuana manufacturer WeedMD on the map.
The start-up made its debut on the Toronto Stock Exchange Thursday and received its final Health Canada clearance to sell its product the next day – two big moments that cap off years of hard work, patience and perseverance.
“It was two banner days in a row. It’s exciting,” said Bruce Dawson-Scully, chief executive of WeedMD.
“It’s a growth period here. They’re huge achievements… It is all part of our plan and we are hitting our milestones.”
WeedMD’s stocks, traded on the TSX under the symbol WMD, have been fluctuating between $1.29 and $0.89 per share in the last three days of trading – not that Dawson-Scully is up at night watching the ticker.
“It’s the stock market, you could sit there and watch it and drive yourself completely bananas or you can keep running a business,” he said.
Dawson-Scully prefers to do the latter.
The two big announcements are taking the budding business to the next level, paving the way for a $3 million, 220,000 sq. ft. expansion that will increase its output tenfold and boost WeedMD’s workforce to 100 employees.
The company is in diving headfirst into the planning process and is in early talks with the Town of Aylmer to get the addition off the ground. Dawson-Scully is hoping to have the capacity-increasing build fully operational in 18 months.
“It’s been a real challenge getting us to this point but we’ve really surpassed that learning curve now and we believe we have a really formidable plan,” he said.
“We’re building up to it and we’re looking forward to the next phase of WeedMD here in Aylmer.”
The Health Canada sales permit is a long-awaited piece of WeedMD’s plan. The start-up has been growing, harvesting, drying and storing its marijuana since last spring as Health Canada reviewed every aspect of its operation. With no permission to sell its product, WeedMD had no income source, only staggering up-front costs.
But now with the final sales approval in place – and some 1,600 prescription holders expressing an interest already – Dawson-Scully is happy to finally get his product out the door.
“We’re going to take our time and execute our plan properly and provide quality service to our patients,” he said.
Of course, there’s another wildcard in WeedMD’s future plans – the federal government’s move to legalize recreational marijuana use by 2018. Though the draft legislation would let people grow up to four plants per household, Dawson-Scully knows there will still be a market for WeedMD’s marijuana.
“People can stay at home and brew their own beer and make their own wine too… There’s always going to room for people to produce their own. I think that’s great and we support that,” he said.
“But growing cannabis isn’t like growing a head of lettuce. There’s an art to it.”
- 26,000 sq. ft. facility on site of former Imperial Tobacco plant in Aylmer
- About 6,000 marijuana plants in total
- About 30 kg of marijuana buds produced weekly
- 35 employees
- Began growing and storing plants in spring 2016
- Earned Health Canada sales licence April 28, 2017
- Planning underway for $3 million, 220,000 sq. ft. addition
- Went public April 27, 2017 under TSX symbol WMD
Originally published: stthomastimesjournal.com