Grow-op plans put on ice

Plans for a large-scale cannabis grow operation at the old Weyerhaeuser mill site in Okanagan Falls have been put on ice.

Sunniva Inc. purchased the 126-acre vacant industrial site last year for $7 million, announcing plans to construct a 740,000-square-foot cannabis production facility. The $125-million project would have created about 220 jobs for the community.

The company later announced a scaled-back modular grow-operation, but even those plans have now been put on hold. 

Sunniva announced Monday it is suspending all development plans in Okanagan Falls to focus on its American operations. The company is nearing completion on a 325,000-square-foot facility in Cathedral City, California.

Sunniva says it has sold off some parts from the superstructure planned for Okanagan Falls to a private company and “terminated its agreement with its general contractor for the construction of the Sunniva Canada Campus.”

The company also said a planned spin-off of its Canadian operations into a separate publicly-traded entity will not move forward. In Canada, the company operates a chain of medicinal-marijuana dispensaries under the Natural Health Services brand in addition to the OK Falls property.

Sunniva Inc. is headed by Dr. Tony Holler, Penticton resident and owner of the Poplar Grove and Monster wineries. He is the former CEO of ID Biomedical, a vaccine maker that sold to GlaxoSmithKline in 2005 for $1.7 billion.

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