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Marc St-Arnaud, Betralif

"Our facility will be like a laboratory"

The lack of commonly accepted standards within the medical cannabis industry leads to many issues. The biggest one is the lack of consistency with regards to the quality of medicine, but also consistency with regards to supply. This is why Betralif is initially choosing only two strains for their impressive “pharma” facility. “The project started in January 2014, and it took us 5 years and 9 months to get to the first phase of our three-phase facility,” Marc St-Arnaud Co-Founder and CEO with Betralif explains. “We are identifying two cannabis strains to serve as medicinal flower. These are particularly suitable for a wide-range of medical purposes.”

Addressing the lack of supply consistency
Marc further explains that this choice was dictated by the lack of consistency in the supply. “Many patients spend a lot of time finding the exact medicine that is good for them. Largely, because cannabis is a highly individualized medicine. Therefore, they go through a lot of hurdles before they can finally put their hands on a product that is good for them. However, because of the growing demand and a lack of supply, that product can run out of stock. Thus, hurdles start over again, and patients have to go to another company in order to find what has worked for them.” For this reason, Betralif has decided to take on patients in numbers consistent with the ability to deliver long-term care. Marc also highlights the importance of choosing only two strains, “If one grows, say, 50 strains, your inventory per strain would be quite low.”

Nothing left to chance
Therefore, the only way to keep the supply constant is to have growing procedures that do not leave anything to chance, and follow SOPs perfectly. “This is also the reason why we are going to grow our cannabis within an indoor facility. More specifically, within white rooms,” Marc says. He explains that white rooms are areas where the temperature, relative humidity can be dialed-in and maintained as desired, but more importantly, can be repeated grow after grow. “They are sealed environments with white refrigerator type panels. Our facility will be like a laboratory, where climate conditions are way easier to control than greenhouses, where temperature fluctuations are a daily occurrence.”

Gathering as much knowledge as possible
The substantial amount of time that Betralif took to kick off phase 1 of their growing facility has been necessary to gather as much knowledge as possible, thus avoiding any mistakes during the design process. “There are a few education hiccups in the industry,” Marc says. “This is because the industry is still young. We have seen several growers making mistakes, and we have learnt big time from those. This is why we wanted to go with the white rooms concept, as we have been fortunate enough to educate ourselves by looking at others. Our Head Grower Randy Flemming and Av Singh our Agronomist also helped a lot in outlining this concept. Our mission is also to export our methodologies and products to other countries where we will be active.”

According to Marc, some people are not willing to wait a long time before kicking off their cannabis project, “But that is exactly the type of approach that leads to many issues and to failures in worst-case scenarios. We decided to take it slow, and to take the right steps. By doing this, you ensure that everything works according to plan, but mostly, no opportunity is missed out on. By working with the Pharmaceutical industry, We want to provide Therapeutic medicines to people, we want to give them a ‘betralif’, that is, a better life.”

For more information:
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