Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Photo Submitted

WHAT’S TO COME – Above is a rendering of the future ArcticPharm project planned for north of Whitehorse. Inset John Lenart

Image title

Photo by Photo Submitted

PROPERTY REPURPOSED – The exterior of an ArcticPharm greenhouse is seen on the Takhini River-area site in the fall of 2020.

ArcticPharm ‘super-excited’ about cannabis venture

With April 20 no longer being the occasion it once was,

By Tim Giilck on April 23, 2021

With April 20 no longer being the occasion it once was, it seems only appropriate the Yukon’s first licence holder for the cultivation and processing of cannabis under the Cannabis Act of Canada was announced on Tuesday.

ArcticPharm is also the first cultivation and processing licence holder in any of Canada’s territories.

“After many years of efforts by our team, and with the support of our industry advisors and partners, the issuance of this licence allows us to move forward in our vision to create a world-class, premium, organically grown and processed cannabis brand,” the company stated in a media release.

“We would like to thank our stakeholders, staff, and the federal and territorial governments for their encouragement and support in achieving this milestone.”

ArcticPharm’s main facility is located north of Whitehorse, on the Takhini River.

The company owns a 116-acre organically certified farm and will be growing a variety of cannabis strains using organic and natural methods.

“The strains that we have selected are carefully chosen to match the unique conditions we are growing in and we are super-excited to have the opportunity to grow the Yukon’s first commercial cannabis here in the Takhini valley,” the company said.

“The 18 hours of sunlight, low humidity and organically managed soils will produce a crop with characteristics of flavour, aroma and effects distinctive from southern growers,” said master grower John Lenart. “We’ve been busy over the last couple months preparing for the season.”

In an interview with the Star on Wednesday, Lenart said the process has involved hybridizing conventional tropical strains with hardier northern Russian cousins better suited to the growing conditions here.

It’s not unlike developing suitable strains of grapes for northern winemaking.

“We’re going for the full package of flavour, aroma and potency,” Lenart said.

“We’ve been experimenting for a while, and we will continue to experiment for years to come. Every harvest will be different.”

The plants will be started and cultivated in greenhouses before being moved to outdoor locations in June, he said.

All of the production so far is geared to the commercial market.

“Just because you can grow it doesn’t mean you can sell it as well,” Lenart said. “That’s a whole different process.”

“The Yukon’s pioneering spirit is strong in our team and we’re very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” said Sean Stofer, the company’s chief operating officer.

The focus for this inaugural season is to establish a market that includes “the launching of a unique wholesale offering to co- manufacturers and other licensed producers, embarking on R&D processes and securing the sales licenses required to bring an initial assortment of end-consumer products to market.”

Comments (19)

Up 0 Down 0

Hur dur on Apr 29, 2021 at 5:28 pm

Vern, will you even be alive until 50 years? By my math you'd be 150 by then...

Up 2 Down 0

Groucho d'North on Apr 29, 2021 at 4:36 pm

I believe the Reefer Madness era really influenced much of the negativity being posted here. Cannibis is not the killer drug it was pumped up to be. It does far less damage than alcohol - it's documented look it up.
The issue is about the individual; people and their ability to self-moderate what they put into their bodies. Booze, pot, coke, diet pills and fatty foods will all have a negative impact if taken in excess. One's ability to say that's enough and put it down is what creates addicts and unhealthy outcomes. With one exception: Meth: Just don't - not even once.

Up 24 Down 12

youjuana on Apr 27, 2021 at 8:16 am

Great, some realtors from Vancouver, passing themselves off as Yukoners, decided Whitehorse is a good place to grow weed. Being friends with Ranj really pays off, I guess.

Up 13 Down 13

bonanzajoe on Apr 26, 2021 at 9:15 pm

Hur Dur. We old fuddy duddies didn't lose. You millennials did. You will find that out soon enough. Trouble with you is, you can't see the future for the blue haze of what you're smoking.

Up 6 Down 6

bonanzajoe on Apr 26, 2021 at 9:07 pm

Free Speech. Looks like you got outed by 28, pot headed welfare bums.

Up 11 Down 8

Hur dur on Apr 26, 2021 at 7:45 pm

@richard smithington, esq.

We both agree drugs are a mental health problem. Criminalizing that behavior was a mistake. You will never get an argument from me for defunding healthcare. However, there is literally stacks of data that can be reviewed in regards to safe injection sites and their efficiency. Their goal isn't ending addiction it's ending death.
Whatever helps people is what they need. Access to mental health programs, drug treatment and rehabilitation programs are not free. The taxes on safe and legal drugs would handily pay for itself and hopefully more medical infrastructure.

Up 11 Down 6

Vern Schlimbesser on Apr 26, 2021 at 6:37 pm

These guys are just exploiting a legal opportunity. But then again;
Today on CBC we hear that "Safe Injection Sites" has expanded to include Government purchased drugs (including opiates). These will be distributed by ... ??? how exactly? What Government policies.
If you think this will not be viewed as Government designed and implemented genocide fifty years from now your not living in reality.

Up 6 Down 1

Guncache on Apr 26, 2021 at 6:23 pm

The old Riverdale farm off the Hot Springs rd

Up 18 Down 23

Richard Smith on Apr 26, 2021 at 12:50 pm

To Hur dur
I've worked many years in correctional facilities and shelters witnessing first hand many destroyed lives along with severe repercussions to their loved ones.
Many started with weed progressing to mixtures and harder drugs.
Making it legal and socially acceptable vastly increases it's use especially among youth. Fighting it on the streets as illegal is the best way even though there are problems.
The most successful programs are the faith based ones asking the Creator for help something like AA.
The governments free drugs and injection sites do more harm than good in the long run without priority given to getting them free from addiction.
I see your point and in few cases it will work but, on the most part, it will do more harm than good.

Up 20 Down 6

Atom on Apr 25, 2021 at 7:18 pm

Marijuana is legal...as is whiskey.
All the best to these go getters.
Good God can someone fix Junipers TV?

Up 21 Down 11

Hur dur on Apr 25, 2021 at 1:21 pm

@ dicky Smith
Are you sure it was humans wanting to escape reality or the criminalization and wild-west enforcement of that behaviour which is to blame?

To be clear you want to keep wasting public money on a proven failure. Maybe this time, it might work, right? How many more billions wasted? Do you want to keep drugs illegal so we can't regulate the quality or enforce a minimum purchasing age. Do you actually care about the victims of drug wars or use them as props? Seems to me if you actually supported the victims, you'd be a fan of legal drugs being prescribed or sold by an appropriate regulatory body. Take the money away from the cartels. No more cartel money means no more cartel violence. Or does that not work for your faux morality "what about the children" narrative?

Face it, you old fuddy duddies lost. Progress moves forward. We are never going back! Maybe find some good slippers, Matlock is almost on...

Up 23 Down 37

Richard Smith on Apr 25, 2021 at 11:49 am

To - Hurr Durr, maybe you should ask all the people affected, spoused, children, parents etc., by illicit drug deaths and destroyed lives if drug profit was worth it.
Oh wait, it created employment for hospitals, police, social workers, funeral homes, cemeteries etc. I stand corrected.

Up 48 Down 22

Hur durr on Apr 24, 2021 at 7:12 am

Oh no, an investment creating jobs for an economy based on tourist and government hand-outs. Such nerve! Whats next? Lower gas prices?
@dick smith... More addiction opportunities? Tell me sir tinfoil von hatter, what time does your liquor store protest start so we all may join?

Marijuana has been legal for 2 years. The sky didn't fall chicken Littles.

Up 29 Down 39

free speech on Apr 24, 2021 at 5:49 am

Drugs.... will do one thing, always.... creating a useless society with just problems and crime.... but some old saying to learn from..

...hard times create strong people..... strong people create good times..... good times create weak people.... weak people create hard times.....

Up 37 Down 25

jack on Apr 23, 2021 at 11:15 pm

The use of the word 'pharm' in their name is misleading implying a controlled pharmaceuticals business rather than just a big grow op. Doesn't lend any more credibility either.

Up 48 Down 13

Chuck Farley on Apr 23, 2021 at 8:25 pm

hmm, local, home grown, creates employment, generates revenue, pays taxes.
Yukon Gold 25%

Up 30 Down 42

bonanzajoe on Apr 23, 2021 at 7:35 pm

Hope it snows all summer. More mind bending drugs is all we need. Doesn't take a Psychic to predict Liberal government legislated poppy farms in the near future. They already want to give out free heavy drugs to the addicted.

Up 42 Down 46

Juniper Jackson on Apr 23, 2021 at 4:22 pm

"After many years of efforts by our team, and with the support of our industry advisors and partners, the issuance of this licence allows us to move forward in our vision to create a world-class, premium, organically grown and processed cannabis brand,” For many years huh? Long before this crap was legal.. . WTG Canada.

Up 57 Down 59

Richard Smith on Apr 23, 2021 at 3:53 pm

That's all the Yukon needs - more addiction opportunities.

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.