On March 16, we hit another major milestone by announcing the receipt of our Standard Processing licence from Health Canada. This announcement was received just shy 17 months after submitting our original application, and 102 days after submitting our site evidence package. Given that we had to submit before the holidays, we anticipated there to be a delay in the application processing.
This is an extremely proud and exciting time for our team. One of the best decisions we made was hiring a lean team of scientists, and a Quality Assurance Person early on, so they could be part of the licensing process from the beginning. Our facility and standard operating procedures (SOPs) were designed with input from the people who will be directly involved in the day-to-day process. We believe this will increase operating efficiencies, and support our production crew so they feel safe and comfortable at work. Having the team invested in the process will ultimately lead to greater optimization, as they are already familiar with the workflow, which was custom-created to meet their needs.
We cannot stress enough that this initial upfront investment in our team will be critical to our future success. We also enlisted the help of PipeDreemz Inc., a skilled, regulatory cannabis consultancy that assisted us through the licensing process.
One major learning was the value in keeping an open dialogue with Health Canada while we were in queue for our licence, at various points throughout the waiting process. They are interested in helping applicants navigate the process, and we were able to develop good rapport with our licensing reviewer. There is certainly a delicate balance when it comes to checking in, but we do encourage other applicants to not be afraid to provide gentle nudges along the way
As per the amended guidelines from May 2019, Health Canada requires all facilities to be fully built out, and submit a site evidence package before a licence will be issued. This had an impact on us, as we had to delay renovating our facility due to a rezoning requirement from the Township of Langley. The co-located facility; Adastra Labs and Chemia Analytics (which was licensed in December) was quickly, and successfully rezoned, making it the first facility of its kind to receive site-specific rezoning in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.
Renovations of this magnitude and scale are an extremely costly criteria, but we made sure to present our facility in a high-quality state of completion. Again, we feel like the quality of our facility is a direct reflection of the team that was on boarded from the start.
We did receive two requests for more information, which we delivered on within one week, speeding up the licensing process. Although obvious, it is important to note that the more complete your application is, along with the anticipation of possible feedback from the regulators, really helps to prevent or ease any licensing delays.
The Standard Processing Licence applies to our 13,000 sq. ft. GMP-compliant facility and is valid for three years. Our next steps include ramping up hiring, commissioning our equipment, fulfilling our toll processing and distillate supply agreements, and achieving operational excellence.
The industry has seen contraction and consolidation of companies on the cultivation side, but we feel that by focusing our business further down the value chain, we mitigate many of those risks. We believe that processing has higher margins and returns for investors, and we look forward to providing exceptional product to our B2B clients, medical, and adult-use consumers.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION: This news release contains “forward-looking information” and “forward-looking statements” (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as at the date of this news release. Any statement that involves discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance (often but not always using phrases such as “expects”, or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, “plans”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “forecasts”, “estimates”, “believes” or “intends” or variations of such words and phrases or stating that certain actions, events or results “may” or “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken to occur or be achieved) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements. In this news release, forward-looking statements relate, among other things, to: Adastra’s expectations concerning an increase in its production capacity. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this news release. Except as required by law, Adastra assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements of beliefs, opinions, projections, or other factors, should they change, except as required by law. SOURCE: Adastra Labs Holdings Ltd.