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Calgary marketing city industrial land to create cannabis hub

The City of Calgary is hoping to create a cannabis industry hub in Point Trotter industrial park, and it’s already having success selling off some of its development lots.

Spencer McClurg, manager of sales and acquisitions with real estate development services at the city, said so far his department has four lots in the Point Trotter Industrial Park under contract with cannabis businesses. That means they’ve either transferred the title or have an agreement to purchase in place.

McClurg said that while he couldn’t divulge which companies are looking to move to Calgary, the business who have signed on so far represent the full spectrum of the industry. The city is hoping to attract more than just growers – research and development and supply chain management are some of the other specialties emerging in the cannabis industry.

He said the city’s real estate department has a mandate to market and sell its industrial real estate to businesses that will help create a more diversified economy, and cannabis is just one emerging market they’ve decided to target.

“We’re attending conferences and events specifically with relation to this emerging industry and we have our marketing and sales individuals attending those conferences to generate interest and awareness of our industrial offerings and to create those contacts to turn leads into sales,” said McClurg.

With its strong agricultural background, the province of Alberta has been seen as a potential hot spot for cannabis cultivation, however so far the big players have set up outside Calgary city limits. Aurora Cannabis announced it is building a 1.2 million square foot facility in Medicine Hat, and Joi Botanicals told LiveWire of their plans to build a 15,000 square foot facility in Wheatland County.

McClurg said Calgary is ready to compete with smaller municipalities for other potential businesses.

“Our industrial land is very attractive for a number of reasons – we’re construction ready, and we have fully-serviced parcels that are immediately available in a large variety of lot sizes that can accommodate virtually any segment of this industry,” he said.

(Courtesy City of Calgary)

McClurg said the city is touting the diverse and educated workforce available to businesses, and its plan to introduce more transit service to the city’s industrial hub in the southeast.

The city is also selling potential buyers on the business strength of having a cannabis hub within the city.

“With the investments being made right now by the cannabis industry into our Point Trotter industrial park, there’s likely to be some opportunity for synergies with these businesses as they become a bit of a collective within the park,” said McClurg.

Area Councillor Shane Keating said he was aware of one larger growing operation that was set to enter the park, although the other three were still news to him.

“It makes absolute sense,” said Keating. “It’s kind of like a technological hub or a medical hub. You go there and they’ve got many offices – it makes perfect sense. Especially in the industrial area there.”

LiveWire reached out to the Calgary Chamber and Calgary Economic Development for reaction on this potential new hub. Calgary Economic Development declined to comment, and the Chamber was unable to provide anyone for comment.