Pubdate: Fri, 01 Dec 2017
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network
Author: Juris Graney
Page: 12


Top grower says science convinced him despite his initial reluctance

Jim Hole is getting into the commercial cannabis game and he couldn't
be happier.

In fact, the St. Albert greenhouse owner who has dedicated a lifetime
to horticulture can't remember the last time he was this excited about
growing a plant.

This week, Hole's Greenhouses and Atlas Growers, an Alberta-based
medicinal and recreational cannabis producer, joined forces to create
a partnership that they hope will produce the very best commercial
quality harvest of legal marijuana in the industry.

Atlas Growers president Sheldon Croome believes the first harvest from
its 38,000-square-foot building in Lac Ste. Anne County will come in
the second half of 2018, shortly after recreational cannabis is
legalized in July 2018.

"I'm more excited about this crop than any other crop, no doubt,"
Croome said Thursday.

"We are plant people. We grow plants, thousands of plants, and
cannabis is just another plant."

Hole, who has never grown cannabis nor used it, said he and his family
had been approached previously by companies wanting their greenhouse
expertise, but he declined to be involved.

Part of that decision he put down to differing philosophical
approaches, but also because "cannabis wasn't something we were
completely comfortable with."

But as time went on and new information came out, coupled with
conversations with people who were using medicinal marijuana, Hole
became convinced of its health benefits.

"That's what's really driving us," he said.

"We want to be at the forefront, providing product that's going to be
able to help people."

When he was approached by Croome and Atlas, Hole said the entire
family sat down to have a "very serious conversation" about the

After all, as much as there is excitement about legalization, more
conservative-minded folks still oppose the use of cannabis.

Then there was the 50-plus years of reputation his family had built
around their greenhouse and gardens in St. Albert.

"If our name is going to be attached with anything to do with
cannabis, it has to be the highest standard," he said.

"We can't afford to risk our reputation with cannabis that is not at
that level. What we decided was to let the science dictate what we do.
We can take all the emotion, the preconceived ideas, take away the
Reefer Madness film and what have you got left? "Science." Atlas
Growers is in the "pre-cultivation stage of licensing, pending
construction completion."
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