Thursday, November 20, 2014

Affinor Looks To Expand Footprint To New York

Partnership developed to explore grow-op creation just over border

Published on November 19, 2014
CORNWALL, Ontario - Medical marijuana could soon be grown just over the border near Cornwall. A Montreal firm is in talks with other entities, including an Akwesasne-based consulting firm, to create an agricultural operation in Bombay, N.Y. – just 20 minutes from Cornwall.

Affinor Growers confirmed it has signed a letter of intent with North Country Natural Solutions and Iroquois Consulting Group on a joint venture to secure the operation of a medical marijuana grow-op that would also include other amenities. North Country wants to secure permission from New York State to allow the grow-op. The state has recently green-lighted some very strict conditions that would allow for the creation for a limited number of such operations. "This is a huge step into the New York, and U.S. markets with very skilled individuals," said Affinor executive chairman Nick Brusatore. But very little about the specifics of the medical marijuana operation was mentioned in a press release issued by Affinor on the subject. Brusatore did focus on the other areas of the fledgling partnership, including vertical farming, as part of an overall initiative to expand local agricultural production and provide local living wage jobs.

"I am personally thrilled to get a project moving in New York State with people that clearly understand the state of the nation with regard to food security," he said. "We want to bring people together to study the severe, global environment changes that make it tougher to produce quality food. "With a population ballooning to 10 billion people by 2020, the future of food production through Technology and automation is going to be a major part of the solution." His sentiments were echoed by prospective partners. “This is a unique partnership that connects Affinor Growers with its agricultural technology to the rich Iroquoian values we place on the environment and the food supply," said Kelly Mitchell, a representative from Iroquois Consulting. "We look forward to working with the Affinor group to bring clean fresh produce to the North Country and surrounding area as well as bringing much needed jobs to Franklin County.” There's no word yet on just how long it will take to get the necessary approvals to begin growing products, but it's unlikely to come soon.

In 18 months New York State will allow medical marijuana on a tight basis under the so-called Compassionate Care Act. The state will license five growers. Marijuana production must be done indoors in a secured facility and patients will not be able to receive the plant or its concentrates unless they are diagnosed with what the law defines as a serious illness, such as cancer, AIDS or epilepsy. According to its website, Affinor “is focused on mass-producing high quality, in-demand produce and pharmacy-grade plants for global distribution." 

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