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Forging New Territory with Custom Cannabis


Brother and sister Robyn Wytinck and Jeff Nielsen, co-founders of Custom Cannabis.

Professional and personal passion, great timing and a tsunami of public interest are potent success factors for Calgary’s Custom Cannabis.

The expertise and professional background results in the passion. The timing is Canada’s 2018 legalization of cannabis – and the invaluable and potent momentum of the media blitz that continues to generate tremendous public interest and awareness about cannabis.

Controlling the quality of the cannabis from seed to processing to clients is at the core of Custom Cannabis’s success. The engineering technology, hydroponic growing techniques and unique innovation to produce the medicinal cannabis all takes place in a bright, state-of-the-art 60,000-square-foot greenhouse and processing facility in Claresholm, south of Calgary.

Jeff Nielsen and Robyn Wytinck, co-founders of Custom Cannabis, make up the Calgary-born, educated, brother-and-sister team who developed the new technology to grow medicinal cannabis.

“Canada is at the forefront of a monumental change in the attitudes and opinions toward cannabis,” CEO Jeff Nielsen says with enthusiasm. “The abundance of information and media leading up to legalization has clearly accelerated the cultural shifts that are taking place. In our many discussions on the topic, we’re seeing people of all types opening their minds to cannabis and having open conversations about its health benefits.

“But the saturation of awareness is also a bit of a caution. Education is a large part of our business plan. When patients need to make decisions about their treatment and health, information overload can lead to confusion and add stress to an already difficult experience.

“Our goal is to empower patients to cut through the confusion with high-value information, so they can make informed decisions about their personal path to wellness.”

From technical details to quirky basics, the innovative technology behind Custom Cannabis is redefining the medicinal cannabis industry – from engineering details to the meticulous attention around layout and location.

Claresholm was chosen to capitalize on unique growing conditions for medicinal cannabis as the area receives over 330 days of sunlight – or 2,500 hours of bright sunshine – a year. The area’s 1,034-metre elevation, next to the Rocky Mountain foothills, also means drier air for better moisture control during the growing process.

The large and bright Custom Cannabis production facility has 40,000 square feet of environmentally-controlled, sealed cannabis-specific greenhouses with another 20,000 square feet designated for processing, storage, packaging and administration. The hydroponic crop production uses supplemental lighting and computer-controlled HVAC and irrigation, without the use of pesticides and fungicides, to produce consistent, high-quality medicine.

“Opinions and behaviours toward legal cannabis are changing,” Nielsen points out. “The change is happening among all demographics. Old stigma is being replaced by new thinking. Much hype has been centred on the new cannabis law and also on recreational use. And a boost in general awareness of cannabis doesn’t immediately translate into increased understanding of medical cannabis cultivation, plants, production, products or efficacy.

“There is a need to break through the noise and give patients access to the information they can use to make quality decisions. One of our greatest opportunities is to empower patients to make decisions that are right for them.”