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CannTrust is on track to sharply reduce production costs by growing its first outdoor cannabis crop in 2019, sharing a similar vision with 48North Cannabis Corp. that also plans a field harvest next year through this week’s purchase of Good & Green.

Licensed producer CannTrust, which awaits approval from Health Canada to expand production to its 19-acre farm in Ontario’s Niagara region, expects it will be able to grow cannabis outdoors for 25 cents per gram, down sharply from 83 cents per gram at its high-efficiency greenhouse, chief executive Peter Aceto said Monday in an interview with Cannabis Professional.

“In many ways, cannabis is going to become like a commodity and the price is going to drop. We want to be at the forefront of outdoor growing,” Mr. Aceto said, adding that average indoor costs are around $1.50 a gram.

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“We’ve submitted applications to Health Canada and we are planning on putting seeds in the ground in our Niagara property in the spring, and we are actively having conversations with farmers about switching to cannabis.”

Those farmers would also require licenses from Health Canada to grow cannabis.

This outdoor crop will be grown for oil extraction, Mr. Aceto said.

When cannabis was first legalized in Canada, only indoor commercial production facilities with tight security and controlled environments were permitted but a few months ago the Canadian government said large producers will be allowed to start growing crops outdoors as well.

To be sure, outdoor crops produce one or possibly two harvests a year versus three or four indoors.

On Monday, 48North said its acquisition of Licensed Producer Good & Green was completed, bringing with it a 100-acre organic farm in southwest Ontario that is expected to produce 40,000 kilograms of cannabis in 2019 at 25 cents per gram, 48North said in a release.

Good & Green applied for a cultivation license for the farm in October, 48North said.

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