One micro cannabis producer in Saskatchewan says they want to change the game when it comes to medical cannabis.
Gord Nichol, the owner and head grower of North 40 Cannabis, recently announced his plans for his own medical cannabis platform that he hopes to launch in the coming weeks.
His plans for the program will include some very unique features, such as same-day packaging, choice of packaging, and custom orders in terms of product format and potentially even cultivar choice.
The goal, he says, is to finally give him a chance to interact more closely with medical cannabis consumers and provide the kind of service he thinks is currently lacking in the medical market.
“Medical cannabis is something that I really believe in and am very passionate about,” says Nichol. “I think I can pull in a good amount of customers by catering to what they really want, bring them into my world, show them what I’m doing and what can be done and take it to the next level.”
Nichol, who says he prefers the term “Lumberjack” over Health Canada’s official title of Master Grower, is now just waiting on finalizing a few details with his online platform and payment system, making sure everything is fully secure and able to handle all the required patient information and payment processing.
But he’s eager to get started.
“Honestly, I think this is something I really want to get my hands all over,” adds Nichol. “I want to be able to talk to the people who are signing up, and really get to know them and find out what they want. We’re open to them choosing their packaging, what kind of cannabis they want, and possibly even choosing what strains we grow for them. I think this is what medical cannabis should be about, so we want to get this right.”
“It’s going to be personalized, it’s going to help bring more interaction between us and our patients. We’re going to introduce a new level of value. We’re not going to be the cheapest, but we’re going to be very competitive and I think that our level of service will be game-changing.”
Nichol says he also wants to introduce a Dutch Auction approach to pricing. This would mean that over time, the cost of the product would come down as it gets older. “No stale weed will live here,” he wrote in a recent tweet.
How these different licenses work
North 40 has been operating as a licensed micro cultivator and processor and has had its medical sales licence since July 2019, selling into several provincial markets through partnerships with other cannabis distributors as well as through other producers’ medical platforms. But they recently also acquired their product sales amendments that now allow them to package and sell all their own products directly into both the various provincial cannabis markets, but also the medical cannabis market.
These sales amendments are the final sales licences required by any cannabis producer to be able to sell directly into both of these supply chains; the provincially-run “non-medical” markets as well as the federally regulated medical supply stream that allows people to order directly from a producer.
Although North 40 had their medical sales licence that allowed them to sell through other producers’ medical platforms, they were unable to directly package and sell their own medical product until they also had those same sales licence amendments.
Nichol says he first applied for his product sales amendments in late 2020, officially receiving their dried/fresh, extracts, edibles, and topicals sales licences in July 2021. He says there were some frustrating gaps with Health Canada in terms of the initial application, including needing to re-apply at one point. But once they were interacting with a reviewer, things went smoothly, if not quickly. The process is incredibly thorough.
“It’s a lot of attention to detail, a lot of attention to your testing results, your reporting, your sanitization records,” explains Nichol. “They really put you through every aspect of what you’re going to be doing. For Health Canada, that sales licence amendment is the biggest thing because it allows you to package products for patients. So they get right down into the weeds with you.”
“But now we have it, and now I feel like we can finally get to this last stage I have been wanting to get to. Now we can have more control over our cannabis from growing all the way to the customer or the retailer. It’s a big step forward.”