Lumby site under construction for True Leaf cannabis cultivation facility. Photo: Black Press

Lumby site under construction for True Leaf cannabis cultivation facility. Photo: Black Press

B.C. company bullish on global cannabis pet product potential

True Leaf building cultivation facility in Lumby and developing global brand identity

A company with North Okanagan roots is poised to be a global leader in cannabis-based pet industry health products.

Darcy Bomford, chief executive officer and founder of True Leaf Medicine and True Leaf Pet, says the pet industry offers a potential multi-billion global industry for pet products, $30 billion alone just in the U.S.

Speaking at the Okanagan Cannabis Business Symposium earlier this week in Kelowna, Bomford outlined how his company’s initial line of products developed from hemp seed are now available in 2,000 stores across North America and the company has invested to develop its brand name in a highly competitive industry while working to expand sales in European markets.

RELATED: Pioneer cannabis for pets veterinarian joins True Leaf

Bomford said while he sees a tremendous upside in selling cannabis-based pet care products to deal with such symptoms as anxiety and joint pain, others in the industry see the same potential.

“I went to a conference in Florida last year and there were three exhibitors marketing pet health care products. This year there were more than 30,” he said.

Built around the slogan of “returning the love to your pets,” True Leaf’s initial hemp seed product development doesn’t have the same regulatory demands that cannabis-based products will have.

RELATED: True Leaf announces Cannabis cultivation team

“Everything we are doing with hemp seed right now is totally legal,” said Bomford, noting hemp seed doesn’t involve cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), two natural compounds found in cannabis plants that require additional regulatory oversight.

Bomford has been involved in the pet industry for more than 20 years, starting his own pet supplement company, that morphed into a pet treat company, generating $7 million to $8 million in sales annually with one plant in Canada and two in the U.S that primarily made baked dog biscuits.

In 2012, Bomford parted ways with the company, agreeing to a one-year non-compete clause, the same time that the federal government announced new rules around the production and sale of medicinal cannabis.

Bomford felt cannabis could offer a unique ingredients for products for pets as well as people, and became the 48th applicant to seek a Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) license, which has since evolved into the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).

“We were in the queue but the prime minister at the time was very anti-cannabis, and there were so many applications that the system for approval stalled,” he said.

Not knowing when the license might be approved, Bomford launched the True Leaf Pet line of hemp seed influenced health care products while awaiting for a medicinal cannabis license to be approved, which hasn’t happened yet.

“We are hoping to see our license be approved by the winter of 2018 and our license to sell cannabis-base products approved by the spring of 2019,” Bomford said.

“The application process has been slow but we have secured a 40-care site in Lumby with an initial lab and production facility capacity of 25,000 square feet. We have enough land on the site to one day see that expand to more than one million square feet but we are still in phase one at this point.”

RELATED: True Leaf continues to grow

Bomford said baby boomers were a big driver in the pet product industry, and some saw the next generation Millennials as not having the same desire to own pets as part of a greater lifestyle priority reset.

“While Millennials are not having kids and buying homes as soon as baby boomers were, what the industry was surprised to find that while they may be waiting longer to have kids, they are interested still in having pets and lead a more cannabis-driven lifestyle familiarity that has created this opportunity for pet industry product expansion,” Bomford said.

In an interview earlier this year, Bomford noted the pet industry is in a pivotal moment of change right now because consumers are going online to buy their pet products and have them delivered to their home.

“The guys that are killing it in the industry right now have a good online brand, a website, and they have influencers that follow the brand and talk about it and believe in it. They have quality product. And that’s where we’re heading with True Leaf,” he said.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@BarryGerding
barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

(Big White Ski Resort/Contributed)
Big White’s big clean-up: Large turnout for post-melt mountain tidy

More than 165 people showed up to help gather the litter left behind from the winter season

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Delays expected on Lakeshore Road this week

Northbound traffic on Lakeshore between Richter and Barrera will be detoured for paving

David Larsen, left, and co-host Tony Peyton. (K96.3/Twitter)
Popular Kelowna radio host dies after battle with cancer

David Larsen was half of the longtime Kelowna morning-show duo David and Tony

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Most Read