With the help of Community Futures’ Business Loan Program, SenPharm was able to establish a cannabis micro cultivation business in Crawford Bay, BC.
When SenPharm approached CF for financing, the shareholders had already invested in excess of $1.4 M in the project and needed additional funding to finish the building, purchase equipment, and complete the Health Canada licensing requirements. CF Central Kootenay partnered with CF Sun Country and CF Okanagan Similkameen on a $500,000 loan in June 2020.
Since then, SenPharm has gone on to launch under their brand name “Kootenay’s Finest” craft cannabis. They employ 6 full-time and 15 part-time workers, making them one of the largest employers in the small community of Crawford Bay (pop. 300).
CF Central Kootenay has provided financing to more than a dozen cannabis businesses since legalization in 2018. As a non-formula lender, we look at the people behind the business when assessing this type of startup loan.
In the case of SenPharm, we were confident in the abilities of CEO Kevin McBride and Master Grower Sal Couling. Both brought 20 years’ experience in the legacy cannabis industry. In that time, they cultivated an extensive bank of their own proprietary cannabis strains which now form the nucleus of SenPharm’s high quality product selection.
The Kootenay region is recognized internationally for growing high-quality cannabis. While some conventional lenders are unable to provide loans to cannabis businesses, we are committed to supporting the growth of the legal cannabis industry. SenPharm came to Community Futures for a loan because they couldn’t find the required funding elsewhere. We were pleased to be able to support their success.
“I don’t think we would have gotten our project off the ground, if it wasn’t for the support provided by the Cannabis Transition Team and the Community Futures loans program.”-Kevin McBride, SenPharm CEO