By Jacqueline Corba
Canopy Growth may live inside a vestige of the past ー an abandoned Hershey's chocolate factory in Canada's eastern Ontario ー but the company has been anticipating the future for several years, according to its co-CEO and president: namely, marijuana.
"We've been working for a number of years to be ready for this moment," Mark Zekulin told Cheddar's CannaBiz. "This has not been done on this federal scale before."
More than 800 employees at Canopy's ($CGC) headquarters have been working around the clock to meet demand on the first day of the drug's recreational legalization in Canada, which dawned on Wednesday morning.
"We've used almost every form of transportation that there is in Canada except for dog sleds to be able to get everything to the store," said Canopy Growth's VP of communications, Jordan Sinclair.
Cheddar visited what Canopy has dubbed the "vault," a single room that houses about half a billion dollars worth of cannabis products, from buds to oils to pills.
Sinclair said the product only stays on shelves for a matter of days or weeks before it's shipped to dispensaries or retailers across Canada.
Canopy is betting on what some have speculated may become a $200 billion industry over the next decade.
But that's not all the company is doing.
Canopy also hopes in the long haul to transform cannabis culture ー and perhaps launch a new image campaign for the drug.
The entrance of its headquarters in Smith Falls, Ontario, now offers an educational tour that details the effects and differences between each strain of cannabis.
The lobby looks like more of a craft brewery than the center of the largest marijuana manufacturer ー which might not come as a surprise, given the investment Canopy recently got from Corona-maker Constellation Brands.
"When you come in you see that excitement, that culture of growth, and a part of making history," Zekulin said.