Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }
#CannabisAcrossCanada

Follow the journey with the #CannabisAcrossCanada hashtag. Follow along with him @grassreporter.

Brian Bain just wants licensed cannabis producers to sleep at night.

The CEO of Mother Labs, which received its cannabis nursery licence from Health Canada in early September, is hoping to bring his experience as a trained horticulturist who previously ran Canada’s largest vertical farm to the legal cannabis industry.

Story continues below advertisement

Previously called EcoBain Gardens, Mr. Bain’s rebranded operations in Saskatoon are geared toward offering the same level of consistency and reliability in cannabis production that has long existed for basil, chives and other leafy greens.

“We ship living plants, that is what we do,” Mr. Bain said in an interview just before taking Cannabis Professional on a tour of the 6,000 sq ft facility. “We have mastered shipping one of the most difficult plants to ship in the world; basil dies within two minutes in any environment colder than ten degrees.”

“We are really focused on evolving the [cannabis] industry to where the rest of the horticulture, floraculture and all these other industries are at already.” Mr. Bain said. “Right now we are in its infancy and this nursery is not new, what we have done is not reinventing the wheel, we are coming here offering a service that is already offered to every other horticulture industry in mass, it is just that [legal cannabis] is new.”

Cannabis is “hundreds of times” more profitable than chives, Mr. Bain acknowledged, and part of his sales pitch to legal cultivators is that using a nursery helps to maintain – or even grow – margins amid widespread expectations for legal prices to fall when supply begins to match or exceed demand.

“We are helping people drop their production costs and that is a big thing,” Mr. Bain said. “Right now the big players can get 30 cents per gram [overall production costs] but the smaller and medium-scale guys are producing at much higher costs and as time goes on they will need to shave margins while increasing quality. We can eliminate all their vegetative space, so their clone room, mother room, all of that can be converted to flowering and all of a sudden your facility can be a lot more profitable.”

“As the industry evolves, it will demand [prices] come down, we are here to aid that process,” he said.

Mother is able to produce 1.9 million plants a year in its existing space, though Mr. Bain said the company will have twice as much square footage available after renovations to an adjoining unit are completed sometime within the next 12 months; bringing Mother’s total square footage to roughly 12,000. He is keenly aware of the growing competition within the cannabis nursery niche, specifically citing Weed MD and Delta 9 as competitors.

Story continues below advertisement

“But those are licenced producers,” he said, “and what you have with an LP is they end up selling everyone the same genetics and that creates this issue where a lot of the same cultivar gets renamed three different times.”

Because it is still early days for the industry, prices for ready-to-flower cannabis plants still vary wildly. “You have guys like Zenabis selling for extraordinary amounts like 90 to one hundred dollars for a clone,” Mr. Bain said, “whereas we are under 20 and down to 10 dollars.”

Large-scale crop failures have been a widely-rumoured cause of production and supply issues among LPs and that, Mr. Bain said, is the core issue Mother aims to address.

“We are not just propagators of product, we are purveyors of comfort,” he said, “Our whole business people is focused around helping people sleep at night.”

  • Help us understand how cannabis legalization going across the country

    Participate in Cannabis Pro's first-ever Cannabis Confidence Survey.

Recent reporting:
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies