story by Patricia Merrick
“We came together as a corporation in April of 2018 and we started looking at different communities throughout Alberta,” said Steve Clark, one of the founders of 314 Pure. “We’re all from Calgary and surrounding areas. We wanted to stay local and uncovered that there’s a lot of municipalities who are open for investment and when we came to work with Crossfield, they received us with open arms.”
The group of founders purchased nearly 16-acres of land from the Town of Crossfield and started building the facility in July 2018. Phase 1 was completed by February of 2019 and 314 Pure was granted its Health Canada cultivation licence in August 2019.
Grow operations started shortly after the group received its licence. They are now working on obtaining a sales licence so they can sell their product to the recreational and medicinal markets. Clark said they are expecting to receive the licence from Health Canada this spring.
The facility is 100 per cent hydroponic which means no soil is used to grow their crops, according to Clark.
“We have a patent-pending technology. We use basically a soilless growing method and we find that produces higher yields as well as better quality cannabis,” he said. “Our facility is focused on producing craft cannabis, which is a higher quality cannabis with higher THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) levels.”
THC is the component in cannabis that essentially creates the drug’s effects when consumed. According to Clark, 314.4 is the molecular weight of THC, which is how they came up with the name 314 Pure.
Clark said the group aims to be as environmentally friendly as possible in its growing methods, using 40 per cent less water than traditional growing methods. He said LED lights have been installed throughout the facility and they are looking at recapturing rain water during the next construction phase and reusing it in their growing process. They are also looking into installing natural gas cogeneration as the facility’s primary power source.
Phase 2 of the build is planned for 2020 and when all phases are complete, Clark said, they anticipate the full buildout to be approximately 320,000 square feet.
He said the facility has and will benefit the Crossfield community in a number of ways, including job creation, local business for construction companies and through a community reinvestment fund where a portion of revenues will eventually be put back into the community. Staff members at 314 Pure currently include residents from Crossfield, Carstairs, Didsbury and Airdrie, he added.
“We want to be a valued part of this community. We want to be good neighbours, partners and all of that with the community – we take that pretty seriously,” Clark said. “The thing that really drew us to Crossfield was the business-friendly environment.”
“We only wanted to operate in a community that wanted us to be there. We found some pretty overwhelming support and were surprised at how open everybody was to the idea – especially with the pending legalization.”
The facility’s product will eventually be sold through dispensaries for recreational use and 314 Pure will be offered as a supplier for those requiring medicinal use. The group is also looking into producing oils, vape and edibles in the near future, Clark said.
“We do anticipate starting to sell our product locally in Alberta and then will be moving to sell throughout Canada with the end goal, in the near term, to sell our product overseas in Europe,” he said.