A cannabis plant.

A cannabis plant.

Investment in Canadian pot industry likely to increase

Carmen Wannop, from Dycar Pharmaceuticals Ltd, confirmed there is interest stateside in the industry.

Arne Petryshen

The new Liberal government could mean an increase in U.S. investment in the pot industry here in Canada. Already investors are looking at the medical marijuana field due to the top down approach that Canada is taking federally. That is in contrast with the U.S. where the individual states are leading the charge.

Carmen Wannop, from Dycar Pharmaceuticals Ltd, confirmed there is interest stateside in the industry.

She and Dylen Wannop, the CEO of Dycar, are going to a conference in November in Silicon Valley for exactly that reason. She added it was planned prior to the federal election.

“We’ve been planning on attending that seminar since July or August, somewhere in there,” she said.

She said one of the things she said it comes down to is that it is the federal government that is licensing the medical marijuana, rather than the individual provinces. In the U.S., marijuana is still an illegal substance federally .

“It’s more lucrative for a U.S. investor to invest in Canada,” she said. “Down in the states, because it is the individual states licensing it, not the federal government, the DEA can still walk in and if they find just cause, shut the place down, even though the state has licensed it, because it is against federal law.”

She noted that in Canada it is the opposite, which makes for a safer investment.

Wannop also touched on the application process that Dycar is currently in the midst of for the Cranbrok facility. She said they have had some interaction with Health Canada, which is in charge of issuing the licences.

“We are now in the back and forth stage with Health Canada, so based on their steps, we have advanced, which is a good thing,” Wannop said. “They asked us to clarify the stuff that was in our application and we had the deadline of until mid-September to get that in, which we did. So far we haven’t heard anything else back, so that should be a good thing.”

She also said that Dycar is moving forward with getting some new investors in so that they can purchase the building and begin renovations.

“Ours has always been a matter of when, not if,” she said. Rather than wait for their inspection date to come forward, they plan on starting that ahead of time.

“So there’s no slow down on our end,” she said.

Wannop said they were hoping originally that the application would be approved earlier this year.

“We were honestly hoping to be there and renovating by April of 2015,” she said. “So yes, the process did definitely slow down quite a bit, but it’s definitely still going. Having this election called, it didn’t stop it, but it definitely as far as we can see, slowed the process down a bit.”

Wannop said she couldn’t speak to the effects the federal government would have on the process.

“We know as much as you guys know based on their platform,” she said. “Based on their platform they said they are going to keep this program going and just elaborate on it.”

She said that until the incoming prime minister appoints his cabinet, there isn’t much to go on as far as what changes are coming.

“Until then we’re just kind of playing the wait and see game,” she said. “Health Canada is still working, we know that. They may also be wondering what’s going to go on. They were working for a Conservative government before, now they will be working for a Liberal government.”