Read time: 6 minutes, 20 seconds. Updated March 21, 2020.
In May 2017, Supreme Cannabis began construction on its flagship cultivation facility, 7ACRES. This was the start of the structure’s transformation from a decommissioned tomato greenhouse to a 440,000 square foot, world-class cannabis cultivation facility.
After 31 months, on December 21, 2019, all major construction on 7ACRES was completed. Less than three months later, in March 2020, 7ACRES became fully licensed with the receipt of final licensing approval from Health Canada for multiple secure storage, processing and grow rooms.
Supreme Cannabis is excited to showcase this completed operating asset and share some of the features, practices and people that differentiate the 7ACRES facility:
|Scaled Premium Cultivation||280,000 square feet of cultivation space and a small-batch approach|
|Hybrid Facility||Indoor cultivation with greenhouse roof|
|Advanced Processing||Whole-plant dry, hand-trim finish, automated packaging and value-add processing|
|Internal Innovation||Laboratory dedicated to genetics and R&D|
|Experienced Team||7ACRES’ team is led by experienced CPG operations professionals|
Scaled Premium Cannabis Cultivation.
One of the key elements that differentiates 7ACRES, is how the facility protects its plants. Before entering the facility’s cultivation and processing areas, all visitors and employees are issued the 7ACRES reusable uniforms and standard PPE. In addition to reducing the facility’s environmental impact, the uniforms play a key role in protecting 7ACRES’ plants. Unlike disposable coverall suits, the 7ACRES uniforms do not shed material and require clothing to be removed. This is an added safety precaution that benefits the environment and 7ACRES’ final product.
In March 2020, 7ACRES received final licencing approval for 30,000 square feet of cultivation space, bringing total flowering, vegetation and propagation space to 280,000 square feet. 7ACRES cultivation footprint consists of twenty-three 10,000 square foot flowering rooms and five 10,000 square foot vegetation and propagation rooms. Relatively small flowering rooms ensure each crop receives customized care from transplant to harvest.
The cannabis plants are moved into these cultivation rooms after their vegetative period and planted in oxygen-rich coco coir growing mediums to begin their 8-week flowering period. During this time, 7ACRES’s growers complete routine inspections and active canopy management to achieve a uniform crop. A well-managed canopy provides better air circulation and consistent light distribution. 7ACRES’s small batch approach allows for growers to meticulously care for each crop. 7ACRES’ quality-oriented processes and purpose-built infrastructure make it one of the only licensed producers who is successfully growing high-end cannabis at scale.
Hybrid Cannabis Facility.
7ACRES unique design extends beyond its cultivation footprint. 7ACRES is classified as an indoor cultivation facility yet it features glass ceilings similar to a greenhouse. This hybrid growing environment guarantees complete climate control in a sealed indoor space while also allowing for supplemental sunlight to come through the glass ceilings and support terpene and resin development. Each room is equipped with systems that monitor and automatically adjust air circulation, humidity, CO2 levels and artificial and natural lighting. All aspects of each cultivation room are controlled to ensure an optimal growing environment for 7ACRES strains.
At 7ACRES, the combination of the hybrid greenhouse environment, small cultivation rooms, quality-oriented growing techniques and continuous plant inspections result in the consistent high-quality end product that consumers have come to appreciate. 7ACRES’ best-in-class practices extend beyond cultivation; at 7ACRES, how plants are processed and packaged post-harvest is of the utmost importance.
Advanced Cannabis Processing.
In the span of a single day, an entire flowering room is harvested, all plants are cut at the base of their stems to allow for a full plant dry. 7ACRES production spaces are accessed through a central corridor. The central corridor connects the cultivation areas with the processing and packaging zones, it spans the length of the entire facility and is approximately 1,142 feet long (the length of 3 football fields).
The harvested cannabis plants travel through the central corridor from their flowering rooms to 7ACRES’ proprietary drying rooms. A 2-week full plant drying process preserves terpenes and cannabinoids to ensure a desirable consumer product. 7ACRES’ drying rooms are equipped with a unique system that allows for each 1,500 square foot room to accommodate a full harvest.
With construction and licensing complete, additional trimming, pre-roll, packaging and other value-add processing equipment has been installed in the facility. An impressive piece of machinery driving significant efficiencies at 7ACRES is the new T-Zero trimmer. On average, the T-Zero’s commercial grade automation is increasing 7ACRES’ throughput by over 400%. First, 7ACRES uses the T-Zero trimmer on dry buds, then each bud is inspected for quality and receives a final hand polish before making its way to packaging.
Further efficiencies are being realized with automated packaging equipment as well. In November 2019, 7ACRES introduced its first high-speed bottling line, which can package up to 12,000 containers per day. A second high-speed line was brought online shortly after. Together, these bottling lines have increased 7ACRES’ packaging capacity by 200%. With advanced bud-selection and auto-filling features, this equipment meets 7ACRES’ high standards for its final packaged product.
Once packaged, each bottle is stamped, labeled and prepared for shipping. While awaiting shipment 7ACRES product is stored in a 10,000 square foot secured storage area. From there, product is shipped to one of the 10 provinces 7ACRES is currently available in, including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, PEI, Québec and Saskatchewan.
Internal Cannabis Innovation.
Evidently, there are a lot of steps that go into growing, processing and packaging the high-quality end product that reaches 7ACRES’ consumers. Some of the most important steps begin well before 7ACRES’ seeds are planted. Genetic testing and strain selection are key steps in ensuring that 7ACRES is growing a desirable product with characteristics that appeal to its consumers.
In addition to cultivation and processing space, in March 2020, 7ACRES received licensing for its laboratory. The licensing of 7ACRES’ laboratory allows for the facility to expand its internal analytical capabilities and allocate additional space to genetics R&D. Cambium Plant Sciences will operate its genetics practice out of 7ACRES’ laboratory and test new potential strains from dedicated cultivation space within 7ACRES. In addition to genetics capabilities, the laboratory will support the continued testing and development of sanitation and quality practices the meet 7ACRES’ high standards for health and safety.
Experienced Cannabis Team.
The dedicated team at 7ACRES is supported by production expert, Dan Sippel. Dan joined the 7ACRES team as General Manager in November 2019. Dan brings over 30 years of experience in diverse, high-volume production environments, including Natra Chocolate America, Sofina Foods and Maple Leaf Foods. Since joining 7ACRES, Dan has been identifying opportunities to enhance production efficiencies and looking at ways to optimize the facility’s operations now that construction and licensing are complete. Dan takes care of his team at 7ACRES and ensures that the facility’s day-to-day operations run smoothly.
Supreme Cannabis’ operating assets also benefit from the leadership of John Griese, the Company’s Chief Operating Officer. Like Dan, John joined Supreme Cannabis in November 2019. In his role as COO, John draws on his past experience working for emerging cannabis companies as well as prominent CPG companies, including Nestle and Pepsico. John ensures that operations across Supreme Cannabis’ facilities are always improving and that each facility remains best-in-class.
Leaders like John and Dan are some of the key people who help to set 7ACRES and Supreme Cannabis apart. In a new industry, it is important to have a seasoned team in place that can draw on their past experiences and quickly respond in an ever-changing landscape.