23rd December 2021
By Roland Sebestyén

In a historic move, a medical cannabis cultivator has agreed terms with a leading infrastructure investment fund to provide up to £22.5m to finance the building of the world’s first dedicated carbon negative medical cannabis cultivation facility in the UK.

According to a press release, Glass Pharms is planning to build an advanced 2.5 hectare greenhouse facility in the South of England that will be powered by an anaerobic digestion plant.

The plant works by turning food waste into electricity, while waste hot water from the plant is used for both heating and cooling in the greenhouse. Glass Pharms’ plans for the facility to be accredited to verify its status as carbon neutral.

James Duckenfield, CEO of Glass Pharms, said: “We will underpin a secure supply chain of medical cannabis to the UK, whilst at the same time making a real contribution towards the UK’s Net Zero targets.”

Growing to the fine tolerances required by the pharmaceutical sector for medical cannabis flower is difficult in traditional greenhouses and is typically the preserve of energy inefficient indoor facilities.

The Glass Pharms cultivation facility plans to achieve these standards using a range of methods, including AI-based environmental management systems to control the growing variables.

Mr Duckenfield added: “The result will be a replicable end-product, meaning that UK medical cannabis patients will benefit from a fresh product that meets their requirements for quality with a predictable supply.

“We look forward to being able to supply our customers in 2022.”

It is reported that the agreement for the provision of up to £22.5m in financing is the largest dedicated infrastructure investment in the UK medical cannabis industry to date, which could be a sign of real confidence in the medical cannabis industry in the UK.

Glass Pharms have taken the pledge with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be Climate Neutral Now (confirmation pending). This means the company is committed to reporting and reducing all three scopes of emissions and all greenhouse gases (GHGs), so real climate neutrality is achieved.  

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