Liberty Health Sciences provided an update on the expansion and readiness of its operations for its state-of-the-art cannabis cultivation and processing capabilities at its LHS360 facility.
The multi-phase expansion plan sets the stage for Liberty to grow its LHS360 cultivation facility, located on a 387-acre parcel in Gainesville, by another 300,000 square feet by the end of calendar year 2021. This will double its capacity and bring the total cultivation space to 490,000 square feet.
"The initial phase of the development, the Greenhouse expansion project, will add 14,400 square feet of space and hold approximately 3,750 plants," the team with the company explains. "An additional set of greenhouses will follow, adding another 57,600 square feet of grow space and house 15,000 plants. The greenhouses are fully equipped with light deprivation and climate control systems to allow for five harvest cycles annually."
"One of the existing 20,000 square foot greenhouses was recently retrofitted with new LED light fixtures, an upgraded irrigation infrastructure, newly installed shade cloth and poly roofs, and 140 tons of HVAC. Extra environment sensors were also installed, creating a hybrid grow environment between indoor and greenhouse, allowing for the best of both worlds. The greenhouse will house the Company's premium Seed Junky Genetics."
The latest expansion will create more than 200 new jobs to support the growing operation and 26 retail stores, with plans for another ten locations to come online before year end.
"This expansion will greatly increase our supply of premium cannabis and edibles to better serve our patients," said Victor Mancebo, Chief Executive Officer of Liberty. "The team has been working hard on a multitude of projects that are now starting to come to fruition. Like any fast-growing organization, we have not been immune to shifting timelines and setbacks. Obviously, the pandemic has caused delays, but we have persevered and continue to build an operationally sound and profitable enterprise. We continue to stay inspired and focused on achieving our goals and anticipate exciting future results."
The Company also started construction on three-tiered specialized dry rooms, which will provide a total dry area capacity of 9,000 square feet, accompanied by customized drying structures, controlled environments, and specialized dehumidifiers. These drying rooms will be added to the existing 10 drying rooms that have been approved by the Florida Department of Health.
"We received DOH approval for six Grow Pods for advanced in-door farming that will add to our propagation and vegetation space and will house more than 16,000 clones and our mother plants," said Mancebo. "We have also received approval and completed an advanced culture tissue lab, where we will cure, cross, and preserve strains. The lab will act as a safety vault to safeguard and activate strains based on the season in Florida or environmental pressures that may arise."
Liberty also received Florida Department of Health approval for its Ethanol Extraction Lab, which can extract more than 100 kgs of biomass material per day. This will provide an influx of distillate oil used for oil-derived products, including edibles. This new lab will be 10-times more productive than the Company's current CO2 extraction platform. It will help alleviate processing bottlenecks and allow the Company to expand its current 277 SKU's, with plans to add an additional 150.
"As a result of our partnership with Seed Junky Genetics, our official first harvest is slated to begin in late-October," said Mancebo. "We anticipate the premium flower-derived products will be on our shelves by early November. We have successfully conducted an R&D harvest, and from that sample we saw a four-times multiple on dry yields. As time progresses, the Seed Junky™ strains will continue to permeate our facility, creating ample inventory, not only for flower derived products, but for extraction purposes as well."
In the ramp-up to introducing myriad edibles to Liberty stores, the Company has also completed construction on its commercial kitchen and is in the process of obtaining its Florida Department of Agriculture (FDACS) license, which will be followed by the Florida Department of Health approval.
ArcView Market Research reports that by 2022 the cannabis edibles market is projected to quadruple in the US and Canada to $4.1 Billion