Posts in Product Team
Product Team Update August 3, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • Finished data analysis, interpretations and reported the findings for the 11 reactor trials on autohydrolysis (pretreatment of hemp without any chemicals)
  • Tested industrial food grade enzymes for loading optimization (what is the minimum we need to add to get the results we want)
  • Tested the effect of hemicellulose (removed in pretreatment) on the efficacy of food grade cellulase enzymes
  • Tested the effect of washing after pretreatment on the efficacy of food grade enzymes
  • Performed a pretreatment to mimic pilot scale autohydrolysis (35% consistency, 1” pieces of hemp, 190 ℃, 120 min)

LOOKING FORWARD

  • Lab is closed for a holiday week
  • Moving forward with the lease for 270 Hunter Rd. in Grimsby
  • Extraction equipment was ordered and it is officially in production

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • We need help sourcing 10 tons of hemp stock/fiber in the United States.

Product Team Update July 27, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • Reactor trials for “chemical-free” pretreatment optimization 2-factor, 3 level (150C, 170C, 190C at 60, 90, 120 min) were completed, biomass characterization and enzymatic assessment will finish up next week.
  • Met with DuPont and discussed technical aspects for further improvement of enzyme performance and costs for pilot and commercial scale
  • Planning a pilot plant 100 kg trial at FPI for Process and flavor iterations
  • Continued talks for larger scale production of hemp extract (Renmatix and FPI)
  • Started process to get BTRUK xylose yeast from Winnipeg for testing
  • Talked to BC Hops Company Abbotsford, BC
  • Talked to researcher at Innotech, Alberta, about real time monitoring (Raman spectroscopy) of cannabinoids in beer

LOOKING FORWARD

  • Reactor pretreatment trial to mimic pilot scale 2-stage will be run, with accompanying biomass characterization and enzyme assessment
  • Chose process conditions for hemp production based on lab studies
  • Next week more enzyme work:
    • kinetic trials with variation in loading
    • higher temperature trial for Viscamyl (DuPont)
    • enzymatic hydrolysis without buffer, using pH manual adjustment
  • Chose and order enzymes for pilot scale (100kg) and larger scale 10 ton
  • Order hops, yeast, consumables for next brew in 20-gallon system from 100kg trial at FPI
  • Continue planning for larger scale hemp extract production at Renmatix, NY.
  • We have approval from zoning at the Town of Grimsby for our brewery. Another hurdle jumped in the process of leasing this location. This week we will move forward with the lease and site plan proposal, pending approval of our water/wastewater demands. 

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • We need help sourcing 10 tons of hemp stock/fiber in the United States.

Product Team Update July 20, 2018
 
 

THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • Planning/arranging for 200kg trial at FPI and 10 ton trial at Renmatix and FPI (step one and step 2) for Cambridge Bay. To prepare for pilot scale trials at FPI and Renmatix, New York, we are testing pretreatment of hemp stalks and stem that will help us to decide on operating conditions in the reactor. We can save money in energy costs if 150C works and FPI can process faster. So we are tailoring our trials to validate the optimal time at two main temperature  (150, 170) and times (30, 60, 90, 120 min)
  • Characterizations of the hemp after pretreatment are essential. Enzyme hydrolysis assays on the above pretreated pulp are critical and ultimately will confirm the best pretreatment conditions to scale up.
  • We have narrowed the food grade enzyme testing to 4 by eliminating the poor performers and are testing combinations of 2 for synergistic effects and each singly at different loading for scale up purposes.
  • In communications with two pilot facilities to mimic pilot PT conditions and perform another pretreatment in the lab with our enzymes to mimic their equipment and process better (digester high consistency and large particles) will confirm total ash content for FPI and Renmatix
  • We have completed an inspection at 270 Hunter Rd in Grimsby with our engineering firm, KSH Solutions. It went very well with positive feedback from KSH. 

LOOKING FORWARD

  • We are moving forward to complete a lease agreement and are very excited about the Grimsby space. It is a 122,000 sqft facility that so far is a great fit for us. A few pictures are included above.

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • We could use help finding hemp fiber (stocks) in the United States.

Product Team Update July 13, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • We filed our patent.
  • At Loyalist, we started to process hemp in the reactor for some small test batches.
  • After our visit to FPInnovation (TM-BIO) the previous week, we got their quote approved for lab testing trials. We’re in the process of planning our next large-scale trial there with 100-300kg of hemp converted to extract for brewing at Loyalist College.
  • The search for a building continues with a lot of movement. We are exploring additional building options through Daniel Sax. One in Bancroft is of particular interest at this point.
  • An old military base on Prince Edward Island also has interesting options for buildings. We are actively researching them as well. And we scheduled a time for our engineering firm to review the building in Grimsby.

LOOKING FORWARD

  • Starting enzymatic hydrolysis on prehydrolysis pulp to make beer for flavor iterations at flask scale
  • Getting the quotation for pilot scale hemp extract production at FPI
  • Procuring additional enzymes and brewing supplies
  • Completing due diligence on the building in Grimsby.

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • The building in Grimsby is looking positive, however if anyone knows of any industrial space 60 – 100,000 sqft with 20' plus ceilings...please reach out to ryan@provincebrands.com.
  • We are exploring working with team in New York State. If you have any suggestions for locating 800kg of hemp fiber in New York State, contact ryan@provincebrands.com.
Product Team Update June 22, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • At Loyalist College, last week we focused on measuring preservatives in the food grade enzymes and potential sugar degradation by-products by HPLC to ensure that there were no unidentified compounds in our beer. As well we quantified total xylooligomers and glucooligomers in the last batch of beer. ProVerde Labs did receive our samples and will have results Monday. Some more data to come from Steep Hill on flavonoids and Dynalene on fusels, esters. Delays in shipping alcohol caused trouble but all is remedied. The patent revision is underway.

  • We visited to the head office of FPInnovation this week, a 100-year old Canadian not-for-profit organization with vast experience in pulp & paper, biofuel and new technology for wood to sugar process for many applications. We will engage their services to produce hemp extract for brewing. Their pilot plant can facilitate all of our unit operations (one stop shopping) and their expertise is world renowned. Also, they have already worked with the engineering firm we hired, KSH and are together building the Thunderbay “TM-Bio” facility in collaboration with Resolute.

LOOKING FORWARD

  • Working on the patent revision.
  • Running autohydrolysis in the reactor and following up with characterization and enzyme testing to identify best conditions and enzymes for trials at next pilot scale

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Planning to ship hemp to Pointe-Claire Quebec and possibly Rome New York
Product Team Update June 15, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • The “conditional” period has been extended on the Bowater Port Mersey location.
  • At Loyalist College, the main focus last week was in-house (Loyalist College) analysis for process stream characterization and for additional identification of various analytes of interest, including the Anton Parr training.
  • Last week we spoke to FPInnovation about their pilot plant services in Pointe-Claire, QC. and to Andritz in Springfield Ohio.

LOOKING FORWARD

  • Working on the patent revisions and final hemp beer analysis in house
  • Meeting with FPInnovation in Point-Claire, QC.

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • MNDA with FPInnovation and Renmatix
Product Team Update June 8, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • We are still in the “conditional” period of lease negotiations for the brewery location at Port Mersey, N.S. Last week progress was made on talks with consulting engineering firms and demolition companies. Progress was made on talks with Nova Scotia Power, Queens County Municipality, Brooklyn Energy, Nova Scotia Dept of Environment, regarding costs for power supply, water supply, waste water, steam supply, etc., however the costs are not clear yet.
  • At Loyalist College, the hemp beer was shipped to the analytical labs selected. Time was spent on revisions on the patent for final submission in July. The main focus last week was in-house (Loyalist College) analysis for process stream characterization and for additional identification of various analytes of interest.
  • Last week we spoke to Renmatix about their super critical water technology that would be alternative to enzyme hydrolysis in hemp extract production. Another pilot plant was identified for hemp extract production and we are getting quotes and available dates for another trial at pilot scale. We had talks with Vitalis, a manufacturer of ethanol extraction equipment and will make a decision soon on this purchase.

LOOKING FORWARD

  • Working on the patent revisions and final hemp beer analysis in house
  • Talks with Renmatix both technology and business side
  • Getting answers from municipalities on process water supply, waste return, power, etc.
  • Investigating options for ethanol removal technology is planned for next week. We would like to use ethanol that we remove from our beer for marijuana oil extraction

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Help with finding used brewing equipment 50 hL – 100 hL fermenters and brew house
Product Team Update June 1, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • We are in the “conditional period” prior to signing the lease at Bowater Mersey Paper Co., Brooklyn, Nova Scotia. We visited the location to speak to Nova Scotia Lands Engineer and previous Bowater plant manager for purposes of evaluating the use of the remaining mill equipment at the site and to speak with a demolition specialist. A meeting was held with one potential engineering contractor to discuss plant construction.
  • Province Brands and Loyalist College hosted a journalist from The Guardian for an interview
  • At Loyalist College, the hemp wort fermentation was successful and was put into cold crash. We are getting ready to bottle the hemp beer and send it to analytical labs this week. Research is proceeding as expected.
  • Progress on full-scale equipment this week: A meeting was held with a consultant on the bioprocess side and MNDAs signed to further talks with Renmatix on accessing bioprocess equipment for hemp extract production at their pilot facilities in Rome, NY (Andritz equipment) and Kennisaw, Georgia (Plantrose Technology).

LOOKING FORWARD

  • Working on the patent revisions and sending the finished beer for analysis
  • Talks with Renmatix
  • Planning the Brewery design and assessing functionality and feasibility at the Bowater location

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Help with finding used brewing equipment 50 hL – 100 hL fermenters and brew house
Product Team Update May 25, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • Last week we attended the Lift Expo in Toronto (Erin, Elad, Andrew and Meghan) and Dooma made a presentation in Halifax at the Canadian Brewing Awards and Conference
  • A term sheet was signed by Province and Aqualitas for Province to sublease a property at Port Mersey Commercial Park in Liverpool, Nova Scotia for the brewery location. Next steps will be engineering inspections during the conditional period, planning the demolishing and equipment assessment, finalizing the sublease agreement.
  • At Loyalist College, fermentation samples were sent off to two labs for flavonoid analysis as part of our data mining for the final patent. Patent revisions are under way and the remainder of the hemp extract was brewed and now in fermentation
  • Progress on full scale equipment this week: Marijuana oil extraction equipment was specified, sized and quoted for two different vendors, Rocket Synergy 4D Rotovap was quoted from one vendor, quotation for services to use an “Andritz” pilot plant in Ohio for hemp extract processing for commercial scale validation is under way

LOOKING FORWARD

  • Discussions with Andritz are planned for accessing bioprocess equipment for hemp extract production at Andritz pilot plant, Ohio and to engage a consultant for services in the process design engineering of the full-scale equipment
  • Getting back on track with the bioprocess optimization and enzyme research at Loyalist, now that the final beer is in fermentation
  • Planning the Port Mersey pulp and paper equipment assessment and demolition

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Help with finding used brewing equipment 50 hL – 100 hL fermenters and brew house
Product Team Update May 18, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • We prepared and hosted two television news networks at Loyalist for interviews with Province’s CEO and the college president
  • We revised the Product Team organizational chart and planned the Product Team hiring strategy
  • We agreed to partner with CNETE and Shawinigan College to study ethanol removal from beer, and we will apply for an Engage (CCI) grant
  • The negotiations for leasing a building in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia for our brewery location are going well and expected to continue

LOOKING FORWARD

  • Recruitment for two positions will begin
  • Continue with procurement of plant equipment
  • We will complete the application and apply for the Engage grant with Shawinigan College and CNET, Quebec
  • We will get hemp beer shipped for analysis at various labs

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Help finding a good employment recruiter for technical positions in the Nova Scotia area
  • Help to find a way to germinate hemp seeds and bring to Loyalist College
  • Help with finding used brewing equipment
Product Team Update May 11, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • Last week we hired two part-time laboratory technicians and research is progressing well at Loyalist College
  • Interviews were held last week for a process engineer to join the Product Team
  • The pilot hemp extract was concentrated, wort was produced, and fermentation is now underway
  • We expect to hear back from the real estate office on the Grimsby location for a brewery Monday or Tuesday next week. The landlord was reassessing expenses for modifications to the building.
  • Two new potential brewery locations were found, and we are ready to submit offers to lease if Grimsby is not moving forward. Negotiations on the Aqualitas location in Nova Scotia is still ongoing

LOOKING FORWARD

  • On Wednesday, our CEO will take part in two exciting interviews in Belleville at the lab, one with the CBC.
  • Progress is being made on procurement of plant equipment (i.e. bioprocessing of Cannabis, ethanol removal from beer, marijuana oil extraction, etc.)
  • Next week we will start bioprocess optimization in the new lab reactor
  • Next week we will start an analytical research project with Shawinigan College and CNET, Quebec for analysis of our cannabis beer identifying unique plant components

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Help with obtaining germinated, non-viable hemp seeds for brewing
  • Help with finding used brewing equipment and a brewery location
Product Team Update May 4, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • Last week the product team was busy helping to host an investor group at our CRO Quebec facilities and the research lab
  • Still waiting to hear back from the real estate/landlord on the Grimsby location after the final sign back was submitted. Negotiations were started last week on the Aqualitas location in Halifax N.S. and will continue this week
  • The hemp extract produced in Quebec was analyzed and we concluded that high sodium was the cause of the high conductivity (and osmotic pressure). To eliminate this, next time we will use on-line pH control instead of a buffer system.
  • The hemp extract fermented successfully in lab testing. We will investigate flavor and alcohol enhancement by xylose utilizing brewing yeast  

LOOKING FORWARD

  • We will follow up on the Grimsby offer, negotiate the Nova Scotia opportunity and investigate other options for a brewing location
  • The hemp extract will be concentrated in glucose at CNETE using reverse osmosis and sodium will be removed using diafiltration on Monday. It will then be shipped back to Belleville on Tuesday and wort produced Wednesday with fermentation to follow

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Help with obtaining germinated, non-viable hemp seeds for brewing
  • Help with getting two employment contracts for our part-time technicians at Loyalist College
  • Help with interviewing and hiring a process engineers for the new position on the Product Team
Product Team Update April 27, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • Last week we “signed back” the sign back offer to lease the Grimsby location and we are still pursuing other locations and an opportunity in Nova Scotia.
  • The hemp extract was processed after enzymatic hydrolysis to separate solids from liquid in a continuous centrifuge pilot unit at INRS in Quebec City and was brought back to Loyalist College for characterization
  • For the hemp extract, we are in the stages of performing analysis and characterizations (HPLC for compositional, further second stage enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation testing). Brewing has been delayed so we have time to understand the product at this point and ensure we can optimize the process
  • We are working with contract research organizations to perform some specialized analytical services for unique plant component identification

LOOKING FORWARD

  • We will follow up on the Grimsby offer, seek to submit offers on any potential properties as good as or better than Grimsby and send a team member to negotiate the Nova Scotia opportunity
  • The team will host potential investors and a take them on a tour in Quebec of the CROs and the Loyalist lab
  • We will complete the analysis of the hemp extract and decide on how to concentrate, if needed

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Finding a location to build our brewery
  • Looking for an exceptional Process Engineer/Design Engineer (Chemical Engineer) with industrial experience
Product Team Update April 20, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • Last week we received a sign back on the offer to lease the Grimsby location. It seems like a solid offer, however we will sign back after careful review
  • The enzymatic hydrolysis portion of the hemp extract production finished up last week at our Quebec Contract Research Facility in Trois Riviere, and the extract will be concentrated and brought back to Loyalist College for brewing
  • Last week at our research lab in Loyalist College the HPLC was installed and commissioned, we prepared for the brewing, we started processing the samples from the CRO’s pilot validation (pretreatment), and continued the evaluation of the food grade enzymes
  • A focus was placed on outsourcing analytical labs for our finished hemp beer

LOOKING FORWARD

  • We will follow up on the counter off to lease in Grimsby
  • The brewing of wort will be completed, and the fermentations will commence at Loyalist College
  • We will complete the final list of analysis for the hemp beer and the labs to outsource

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Finding a lab that can measure plant sterols and flavonoids
Product Team Update April 13, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • Last week there was movement on the building location. In a call with the owner of the Grimsby location, we were informed that they have been seriously assessing the modifications needed to suite Province’s needs and are eager to work with us. We are expecting a response to our offer this coming week
  • We have had a starting discussion with Andritz on the needs for our bioprocessing equipment for making hemp extract and will have continued talks with their team
  • We were present at our Quebec Contract Research Facility in Trois Riviere last week as the pilot scale validation of the hemp extract production began. This week we will also be monitoring this process on location, taking samples at various points in the process for analysis at our lab at Loyalist College by our team to assess efficiencies of conversion
  • Last week at our research lab in Loyalist College, the bioprocess pressure reactor was assembled, and the hemp characterization was completed. Evaluation of the food grade enzymes began

LOOKING FORWARD

  •  We will follow up on the offer to lease in Grimsby
  • The pilot validation trial for hemp extract production at the Quebec CRO will finish and brewing will commence. The analysis of process streams taken at various points will be characterized for conversion efficiencies
  • We will have the HPLC installed and get it up and running

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Keep an eye open for used brewing equipment/facilities with 60,000 SF within 2 hours of Toronto.
Product Team Update April 6, 2018
 
 Province Brands' scientists

Province Brands' scientists

 

THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • Last week we ramped up the search for a brewery location, sorted through information on many properties, selected one which was a most suitable (newer food grade facility in Brantford) and submitted an offer to lease
  • We have identified equipment suppliers/manufacturers/fabricators for the bioprocessing reactor for making hemp extract and will connect this week to start discussions on design and procurement
  • We have been in discussions with the patent attorney to confirm our direction is optimum for the April-May hemp beer production and analysis. We have sourced and connected with many analytical labs
  • We have reviewed lab testing results on hemp extract production from our Quebec Contract Research Organization (CRO) and have learned that the trial was successful. This removes the risk associated with inefficiency of food grade cellulase enzymes. We have finalized the pilot scale agreement and planning
  • The bioprocess pressure reactor was shipped and received at Loyalist College

LOOKING FORWARD

  • We will follow up on the offer to lease in Brantford and continue to look for more available and suitable properties for the brewery
  • The pilot validation trial for hemp extract production at the Quebec CRO will start next week and Province team members will be busy at the location supervising, monitoring and sampling
  • We will connect with the equipment suppliers/manufacturers/fabricators for the bioprocessing reactor for making hemp extract and make the “information seeking” calls
  • We will commission the pressure reactor at Loyalist College and receive the HPLC

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Keep an eye open for used brewing equipment/facilities with 60,000 SF within 2 hours of Toronto.
Product Team Update March 30, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • The search for a used brewery or industrial building build a brewery has been challenging and slower than expected. We are waiting for a response on two offers to lease, however more properties were identified for review in Welland, Burlington and Brantford. We will ramp up the search next week.
  • This week we performed a literature review on chemical compounds that may be in our beer that are unique to the hemp plant stalk and stem, looking for compounds that are not in hemp seed or cannabis oils. We also reached out to labs for discussion and quotations on measurement of these key analytes.

LOOKING FORWARD

  • Next week we will review the lab testing at Innofibre, Quebec on hemp stalk and stem conversion to extract for brewing. The success of this step will remove several unknowns and increase our confidence moving forward in our process design and engineering. This will also allow us to complete the larger scale validation trial agreement, expected to also be completed next week.
  • Next week we will begin to identify key equipment suppliers/manufacturers/fabricators and set up meetings or calls to discuss our needs and their strengths to see where there is a good fit.
  • Next week the reactor will be shipped to Loyalist College now that we have a broker in place.

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Keep an eye open for used brewing equipment, used breweries and 60,000 SF industrial buildings within 2 hours of Toronto.
Product Team Update March 23, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • We continue to source food grade enzymes for testing in hemp/marijuana extract production from DSM and ABEnzymes, and we are in contact now. So far, we received eight enzymes from Novozyme and DuPont/Genencor in total that will be tested at the Quebec contract service provider, Innofibre's facility
  • The pretreatment portion of the lab testing on custom hemp extract production at Innofibre was completed this week. Discussions and planning continues for larger scale including RO for concentration, transportation, brewing, etc.
  • The brewing equipment was purchased, supplies/equipment is continually arriving (HPLC, reactor, shaker, small wares, fridge, freezer, etc.) as we set up the lab and mill the dried hemp at Loyalist College
  • Three offers to lease a building for the brewery went out this week and we have heard back from only one. We expect to have responses from all three offers early next week

LOOKING FORWARD

  • Monday, March 26th: the Loyalist students will begin their employment and their schedules will be coordinated to start training and experiments
  • The enzymatic hydrolysis will commence on Monday, March 26, at Innofibre. Results to follow after Easter weekend, April 2nd.
  • We continue to discuss final arrangements/conditions for scale up of hemp extract production scheduled for mid April, including concentration, transport, etc.
  • We will prepare our recommendations for hemp/marijuana beer analysis to generate data for the patent

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Finding a building 40-80,000 SF where we can set up the world’s first cannabis brewery
Product Team Update March 16, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • A kick-off meeting and initiation of lab-scale testing ensued in Quebec this week with our Contract Research Provider to produce custom extracts from eemp
  • The kick-off lunch for the Loyalist project took place at Signal Brewery, Belleville; equipment is on route, hemp was delivered, and the selection of nano-brewing equipment got underway
  • A few good building options were found for the Province brewery, with Brantford being the most optimistic location, a cannabis-friendly town

LOOKING FORWARD

  • Lab testing on custom hemp extract production utilizing food grade enzymes will be completed next week, the results of which will give us great insight into the date of the next larger scale production for brewing
  • Narrowing down the brewery building selection, introducing some metrics to evaluate the best choices and continuing discussions with realtors and building owners
  • Collaborative members of the Province-Loyalist team will organize the lab at the college, making room for new equipment, making efficient use of space, drying/milling hemp, and hiring the new students

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Finding a building 40-80,000 SF where we can set up the world’s first cannabis brewery
Product Team Update March 9, 2018
 
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THIS WEEK'S UPDATE

  • Finalizing a deal with a Quebec-based Contract Research Organization
  • Equipment is being ordered for Loyalist Project
  • Loyalist Agreement officially signed. Press Release coming soon

LOOKING FORWARD

  • Dooma Ryan and Erin will spend much of next week looking at buildings
  • We will have our summit at Loyalist on Tuesday and visit the Quebec-based CRO on Wednesday
  • Erin will take over running the Product team and preparing these updates

THINGS WE NEED HELP WITH

  • Finding a building 40-80,000 SF where we can set up the world’s first cannabis brewery