UK medical cannabis cultivator Glass Pharms has officially completed the construction of its 2.4 hectare ‘state-of-the-art’ carbon negative cultivation facility just nine months after construction began.
With its products now set to enter the UK medical cannabis supply chain in a matter of months, Glass Pharms says it hopes to disrupt not just the UK market, but the way in which cannabis growers approach sustainability in a notoriously carbon-intensive industry.
Glass Pharms’ Mark Heley told Business of Cannabis: “A lot of people are using dirty processes and then making their business more sustainable by offsetting, what we’re doing is building something that has genuine circular economics built in.”
In December 2021, the company secured £22.5m in funding to build its facility, following two years of research growing to nail down its strategy.
This investment, according to Mr Heley, was secured in a large part due to the company’s focus on sustainability and innovation in terms of reducing its carbon footprint.
“To find the right kind of investors in the UK for major CapEx spend… you’ve got to look at these issues.
“And that’s why we were able to get the support of our investors from an environmental infrastructure investment fund. It’s a very different type of funding, and it’s based on the innovations we’re doing in this space.
“They looked at the 15-year plan that we have in terms of how we’re using the energy, water and resources within the facility. That’s why we were able to attract the right funders.”
Glass Pharms broke ground on its facility in October 2022, a month after announcing that it had partnered with specialist greenhouse manufacturers Kubo to build its growing facility, while Askam Civil Engineering was brought in to construct the its ‘substantial service building’.
“Bringing all of these elements of the project together has been an interesting challenge,” Mr Heley added.
The greenhouse space is designed specifically to minimise energy use, and its height is ‘unusually high’ compared to conventional glass houses. This extra height helps Glass Pharms facilitate a ‘laminar flow’ air current.