London, England-based Sativa Investments is opening the country’s first legal cannabis farm, but due to security issues, the farm’s location won’t be disclosed to the public. Somewhere in West Country, England, a huge cannabis farm will supply European medical cannabis patients.
The seven-and-a-half acre facility cost the company £10 million (approximately $13,155,900 USD) to develop. The farm will be capable of producing as much as eight metric tons (8.81 tons) of cannabis per year. It’s among the first legal operations of its kind in the European country.
Geremy Thomas is chief executive officer at Sativa Investments, and expressed the need for added security. “One of the problems we had is a security issue where three of the local hoodlums from Frome spotted the fields from afar and started dancing around with their cameras and published that on Facebook, which prompted us to plough the crop into the ground very quickly,” Thomas told BBC Radio’s Farming Today on Jan. 24. Ironically, however, the plants grown at Frome were merely hemp plants, and don’t have any value for recreational purposes.
Last November, after Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced that British doctors may prescribe cannabis-based medicine, it opened to floodgates to the possibilities for medical cannabis in the country. This follows the growing pressure from the British public to address the country’s great need for access to medical cannabis. As a Schedule II drug, cannabis can be incorporated into the country’s pharmaceutical industry.
The average wholesale value of the cannabis grown last year was £4 per gram ($5.26). The 300,000 sq/ft facility will use 200,000 sq/ft of space for harvesting mature plants, while the remaining space will be used for seedlings and walkways. Each square foot of canopy can produce 40 grams of raw cannabis. Sativa Investments officials will be advised on the selection of cannabis strain by Canada-based Veritas Pharma Inc. Sativa Investments also owns a lab testing facility PhytoVista Laboratories based in Frome, Somerset, United Kingdom.