Gatineau firm is Quebec’s top supplier of cannabis
Marijuana will become legal in Canada on Wednesday, but operations were already in full swing this week at Quebec’s biggest supplier.
There were pot plants as far as the eye could see during a media tour through one of several warehouses at Hexo Corp.’s expansive Gatineau facility.
Truckloads of the product are en route to Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) outlets to ensure that shelves will be stocked on opening day.
“I’m very proud to announce the historic first shipments to a number of our provincial partners,” company co-founder and chief brand officer Adam Miron said.
“The pallets are loaded up and they are being sent out. This is what we’ve been building towards, and this is what we’ve been working for. It’s been very exciting to see.”
Hexo Corp. is the principal supplier for the SQDC, and will provide more than 30 per cent of the cannabis and derived products that will be legally sold in Quebec. The company also has agreements with Ontario and B.C.
Miron and partner Sébastien St-Louis launched their company in 2013, obtaining a medical marijuana sales licence two years later under the name Hydropothecary, and going public in 2017.
They began by selling products such as cannabis oil and marijuana sublingual mist. The company has since become one of the major players of the Canadian cannabis industry, as evidenced by its partnerships with Molson Coors to launch Truss, a line of non-alcoholic, cannabisinfused beverages; and with Metro Supply Chain Group to distribute adult-use web-store orders in a three-year contract with the SQDC out of a 58,000-square-foot facility in Montreal.
Hexo Corp.’s 10,000-square-foot Gatineau facility has an annual production capacity of 25,000 kg of dried product. Work on a million-square-foot expansion will be completed by the end of the year, bringing capacity up to 108,000 kg per year.
It’s a dizzying ascent for a company that still sees itself as an underdog.
“Sébastien and I first set foot on this property four years ago,” Miron said. “Five years ago, we created a medical marijuana business, and we went all-in. It was an opportunity for two 29-year-olds to compete on the same level as so many other titans of the industry.”