Green is the new gold

Bill (left) and John Arbuthnot of Delta 9. Gordon Gage

ricultural industry, covering farming, food processing and farm equipment manufacturing. There is a new crop to add to the extensive list of what we grow here in Canada’s heartland, though. While still somewhat contro- versial, medical marijuana and recent- ly, recreational cannabis, are now a part of our agricultural mix. In Mani- toba, Delta 9 Cannabis is the leader in this new industry. Manitoba has produced its fair share of entrepreneurial-minded individuals and John Arbuthnot, CEO of Delta 9 Cannabis, is a prime example of that cutting-edge spirit. When asked where his idea came from to get into the cannabis business, John replied: “When I did a feasibility study on a medical cannabis company in

M first

year university in 2008, I brought it to my father and the idea that would eventually become Delta 9 came from there.” That was ten years ago and John has just turned 27. His feasibil- ity study precipitated what today is a multimillion-dollar cannabis produc- tion company crafted by the foresight

anitoba maintains an excel- lent global reputation as a province with a robust ag-

Newly planted grow pod.

of a 17-year-old, first-year university student.

In 2013, Delta 9 Cannabis was is-

sued the much sought-after Health Canada authorization to become the fourth licensed producer of medici- nal cannabis in Canada at that time. To date, more than 1700 applications have been made with only 120 being granted so far. With the legalization of recreational cannabis this year Delta 9 is well positioned to take advantage of an entirely new opportunity apart from its medical-license retail channel. Bill Arbuthnot, John’s father, co-

founder, chairman and president of Delta 9, continues to work closely with his son in what is really a unique business in this new industry. There are two main differences that set Delta 9 apart from its competitors, the first being the production method they utilize. Manitoba’s climate may have had an unseen hand in this as winter in the prairies is not exactly economi- cally conducive to greenhouse crop production.

While the choice to grow indoors is nothing new, John and Bill went a step further. All of Delta 9’s cannabis is grown inside 320-square-foot steel cargo containers, referred to as pods, each one a fully self-contained, com- puter-operated grow room complete with climate control, lighting, nutri-

ent supply and security. These grow pods, built by Delta 9, are designed based on the results of years of crop production and fine tuning their busi- ness model. This is where Delta 9’s production method differs from oth- ers in the industry and inadvertently provides them substantial comfort in reducing risk. Cannabis is very sus- ceptible to powdery mildew and once that shows up in a grow room the en- tire crop must be destroyed. While all producers take great care to prevent a powdery mildew outbreak, in Del- ta 9’s case, losing a 320-square-foot grow is a lot different from a whole greenhouse- or warehouse-sized crop. The cargo containers utilized today

are a far cry from the early days for Delta 9, whose first grow rooms were similar sized spaces constructed with polystyrene and two-by-four wood with sheet metal cladding on the out- side for security purposes. Five-gallon, soil-filled buckets, each containing one plant, filled those rooms. Today’s cargo containers will each produce be- tween 30 to 35 kilos of cannabis per year. Well on their way to housing 600 of these high-tech containers in their warehouse, Delta 9 will see a targeted annual production of approximately 17,500 kilos of cannabis. The second thing that sets Delta 9 apart from others in the industry is

Happy healthy feet and aging feet Caring for our older, wider, skin-thickened feet

“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.”

–Audre Lorde

aging process effects every part of us: our brains and attitudes and feelings; our internal organs, from our lungs to our digestive system, the skeleton and all other soft tissue: muscles and skin.

W Our faces and bodies

do not look the same as they did as we age. Our feet are no different. The

feet seem to

“grow” as we age: most people will become at

least half a size wider and longer in shoes as we progress through the de- cades. The feet change shape: most people’s feet will flatten. (The muscle tendons which help to hold the foot


Dr. Gillian Aldous Foot Notes

e know as we grow older our bodies change. This

up will weaken, and the arch drops). We lose fat pads! One of the few won- derful places for fat to sit, which is on the sole of the foot covering the heel and the base of the toes dissipates as we age. (Think of a new baby with those won- derful chubby feet, the older we get the less of this protection we have). (It’s also very likely that there are fewer people offering to tickle your feet as they want to do to babies!). Skin changes too.


isn’t as elastic, it isn’t as strong. Toenails (and fingernails) get thicker. These changes can sometimes provide us with of

problems. these: Many from cutting

thickened nails and reducing their thickness can be improved by seeing a podiatrist. Other problems: removing excessive thickened skin for example we can also help with. So, some ideas for helping ourselves

for better foot conditions as we age: Good Daily Hygiene. Make sure your feet are clean. Dry them well, es- pecially in between the toes. It is good practice to put some cream on the feet, use a good hand cream: think of the dry areas like heels. Daily change of socks and shoes is best, if possible. Soaking/Bathing feet. Everyone loves Epsom salts! Be cautious! Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) will soften skin. It has been used (and prescribed) for years for muscle aches, reducing in- flammation and allowing our bodies, which need magnesium, to absorb it through the skin. There isn’t a lot of actual science to prove these claims. (There isn’t a lot to prove otherwise.) However soaking skin for a long time (more than 10 minutes) will make the skin dryer. It’s not healthy to soak in hot water; it can be bad for anyone with circulatory issues. Soaking of feet is not advised for diabetics; the soften- ing of skin could allow dirt to enter through pores and cause infections. I checked the dosage with the Mayo Clinic, it suggests for an adult, two cups of Epsom salts per gallon of wa-

Stacks of pods in which the plants are grown hydroponically.

that Delta 9 is one of only four com- panies selected to sell retail cannabis in Manitoba. This allows them total vertical integration, from crop pro- duction to retail sales, whereas the majority of other growers are in the wholesale space. Annually, Delta 9’s 600 grow pods should yield roughly 170 million dollars of cannabis at the retail level. With Manitoba’s estimated retail market place expected to even- tually reach anywhere from 350 mil- lion to 500 million dollars in annual sales, there is still plenty of room for further expansion. With that oppor- tunity looming on the horizon, John and Bill purchased the 47 acres of land surrounding their current warehouse to further build out the business that was once just an idea of a 17-year-old first year university student. Delta 9 is well-positioned to take advantage of expanding markets in the prairie provinces with the recent purchase of Westleaf Cannabis in Al- berta; they also have their sights set on opportunities in Europe. As one of Canada’s longest running licensed producers, maintaining very lean op- eration and production models and continuing to focus on lowering costs and maximizing return on invest- ment, Delta 9’s future looks to stay in the green, possibly with a slight glint of gold.

Soaking your feet - just don’t it too long as it will dry your skin out.

ter, not if you are diabetic or pregnant, and to discontinue if skin irritation or skin infections occur. Remember, look after what you have and seek help for any problems.

November 2018

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