Montreal medical marijuana company buys Vancouver's bankrupt rooftop farm

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Alterrus Urban Gaden

A Montreal-based medical marijuana growing business has taken over the now-defunct vertical urban farm on a downtown rooftop.

Affinor is a high-quality crops grower specializing in vertical farming. Among their crops are romaine lettuce, spinach, strawberries and high quality medical Marijuana.

The company will be taking over all the assets belonging to the 5,700-square-foot rooftop farm run by Alterrus, which opened in November 2012 in downtown Vancouver atop a parkade at 535 Richards Street. At the time, Alterrus was the first farm of its kind in North America.

In a news release issued Thursday, Affinor explains what they will be doing right off the bat with the former Alterrus:

This acquisition will also allow Affinor to retrofit the facility and start growing baby greens using this new vertical farming technology. Affinor Growers will now be able to fast track operations and put fresh food and pesticide free on the shelf in Vancouver and demonstrate viability to the market adding yet another potentially, high-margin revenue stream.

Additionally, Affinor says they are hoping to become a part of the City of Vancouver’s initiative to be the “Greenest City” by growing fresh urban food.

Affinor’s Executive Chairman Nick Brusatore says: “I am very pleased with this acquisition as it is a very important move for Affinor to have vertical farming equipment as we enter into the pharmaceutical, neutraceutical and marijuana market in Washington.”

However, Brusatore told CBC Affinor isn’t about to start planting pot on the roof, unless that’s what Vancouver wants:

“The reality is we’re not planning on doing marijuana on the roof, unless the city comes to us and says ‘Hey, we want you to grow marijuana here,'” he says. “I will do and accommodate the city of Vancouver any way that they wish.”

Featured image: Urban Food Revolution

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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