By Lethbridge Herald on June 22, 2015.
Southern Alberta could be home to one of Canadas first commercial poppy cultivation projects, if everything falls into place for API Labs Inc.
Designates of the company will ask city council to provide a letter of support for the project at todays regular meeting in council chambers.
Poppies are a source for analgesics, or pain medications, which represent more than 10 per cent of all prescriptions issued in Canada in 2010, according to their presentation. They may be considered narcotic or non-narcotic.
Poppies produce chemicals known as alkaloids that may be used in producing pharmaceuticals, and the poppy seeds themselves offer a valuable commodity, providing a high rate of return for agricultural producers, they claim.
To date, Canada imports all of its poppy-derived materials from overseas. API Labs Inc. aims to introduce commercial poppy cultivation to southern Alberta, construct a processing facility, and manufacture medicinal ingredients.
Currently, they are collecting data through field research, and pursuing regulatory and legislative approval in Ottawa for commercial growth.
They hope council will provide a letter of support to Minister of Health Rona Ambrose.
Also on the agenda, a request to award the construction contract for new elementary schools in Copperwood and Legacy Ridge, and the Keystone Park Fitness Loop to Bos Scapes Inc.
Funding for the new schools was committed by Alberta Infrastructure. The $3.67-million project is expected to be completed before fall 2017.
The regular council meeting is open to all, and begins at 1:30 p.m. at Lethbridge City Hall.