The Valens Company, which is one of Canada’s most successful cannabis companies, knew that keeping things simple would be the key to their success when cannabis became fully legal.

“Some people overcomplicate cannabis,” says Valens CEO, Tyler Robson. “We’re really a consumer-packaged goods (CPG) company that manufactures cannabis. It’s focusing on the fundamentals and getting out of your own way.”

How Valens got to this point is a testament to the company’s vision of positioning itself as a global consumer company connected to Kelowna, one of the most cannabis-centric places in the world.

The vertically integrated, publicly-traded company has grown to more than 370 employees with manufacturing facilities in Kelowna, Toronto, and Vancouver. Valens has a strong foothold in Canada and the United States, as well as 19 other countries—and counting.

“We’ve achieved success because we’ve gotten so far ahead of everyone else. It took a while for the market to catch up. We hit the ground running once it went legal federally,” Robson says.

While the company starts with the product in mind, it ends with the needs of its customers. Since cannabis customers don’t fit into one box, Valens transitioned from being a sole extraction company to developing consumer products in the medicinal, wellness, and recreational sectors.

“It’s a personal experience that everyone uses for different reasons,” Robson says. In a rapidly growing space like cannabis, thinking strategically is a major competitive advantage. Valens’ Chief Commercial Officer, Adam Shea, says that thinking five steps ahead is part of the company’s DNA.

“A lot of companies in the cannabis field are reactive… We go to where the puck is about to go, not where it is,” he adds.

“Being part of the Okanagan community has always been an asset to us. We are in the business of making products that can potentially enhance people’s lives – and we cannot think of a better place to do it.”

Basing Valens in Kelowna was also a strategic move. Both Robson and Shea tout the cannabis culture in the Okanagan Valley and the local officials and businesses who supported Valens’ operations as Canada moved towards legalization.

The company also benefits from local talent who are tuned in to the needs of the cannabis sector and understand the market.

“You can hire accountants and lawyers, but finding seasoned cannabis talent is very tough,” Robson says. “The depth of experience here is second to none.”

As they grow, Valens is looking forward to more countries opening up to cannabis and more consumers looking for safe, high-quality products that are effective for their individual needs. This forward-looking mentality combined with the fusing of deep knowledge of cannabis and consumer goods makes Valens a force to be reckoned with.

“Look out, we’re just getting started. The bar is quite high, but we have the team to achieve it.” Shea says.


Here in the Central Okanagan, industry-leading companies can be found in a multitude of sectors, including the booming cannabis industry. Having received its Nursery Cultivation licence from Health Canada in 2021, Kelowna-based Klonetics is one of those companies, offering an extensive selection of proprietary cannabis strains that medical growers and licensed producers can use to increase revenues.

“Klonetics has a portfolio of in-demand cannabis strains and will provide licensed producers and growers with plantlets or Ready to Flower™ plants, resulting in increased crop yields and higher quality genetics,” says the company’s CEO, David Brough. “We will be the premier cannabis cloning company that is cultivating in Canada.”

Once they reach full capacity in 2022, Klonetics will employ 50 people and produce nearly four million Ready to Flower™ plants out of its almost 25,000 square foot Kelowna facility, where each room is sealed and ventilated to the highest Goods Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards.

The Klonetics team is made up of world-class specialists who have access to the best technology in the field.

“We did consider multiple locations throughout Canada; after comprehensive due diligence, Kelowna provided us with the best opportunity to thrive,” says Brough. “We continue to attract the industry’s top scientific talent from all parts of Canada.”

Thanks to its partnerships with some of the most reputable breeders across the globe, Klonetics now offers the largest breeder-certified cannabis strain catalogue in the world to licensed Canadian producers.

Klonetics also partners with VEXSL, a transport company specializing in climate sensitive, high-risk and high-value controlled goods, to ensure its
products arrive intact.

Being recognized as a disruptor in the industry is how Klonetics defines success. The company’s existing accomplishments, coupled with the fact that they’re sourcing additional space to expand, leaves no question that they are already on their desired trajectory.

“There is a massive scientific component to cannabis that the Okanagan region is leading. Klonetics is leading the way on how cannabis is studied and developed for cultivation to produce the finest and cleanest medical and recreational products in the market.”

THC Biomed


Being a part of the Cannabis industry’s growth has made Cleo’s work with THC BioMed, one of Kelowna’s oldest licensed producers, that much more meaningful. And they’re just getting started in a rapidly accelerating industry, where the long-awaited potential is now becoming a reality.

When THC Biomed was founded in Kelowna in 2012, the goal was to create a cannabis product that was accessible to all medical patients at a reasonable price. As one of the oldest licensed producers in Canada, the company was able to start researching and studying how to grow cannabis in a legal, regulated environment thanks to a rare exemption research 56 license they received. This allowed their team to select the best strains possible from around the world to cultivate, while also developing their own proprietary strains.

While the market for cannabis has grown thanks to legalization, THC Biomed remains focused on delivering high-quality, affordable, and accessible cannabis strains, which they grow sustainably in small batches, indoors. 

“We hand water all our plants…if you have everything automated, you’re not really looking at what the plant needs. Some plants need a little bit less water, and some more. So, we mitigate this by hand watering,” says Cleo Menezes, who started with the company in 2014 as the Head of Corporate Sales and now works in Corporate Communications. “We grow our plants in soil and don’t use any pesticides or exogenous chemicals. We just keep it really simple. We grow them organically in dirt, with pure nutrients and lots of love.”

Sustainability and accessibility are at the core of THC Biomed, which is a publicly traded company that now employs around 40 people at its flagship Kelowna facility. As a pioneer in the industry, the THC Biomed team is always looking for innovative ways to deliver cannabis to the wide variety of people who use their products. One of their newest products is a flavoured cannabis beverage shot, a first among the cannabis beverage market, which typically comes in cans and bigger bottles.

The versatility of the cannabis plant, and the diversity of its consumers, fuels the THC Biomed team’s passion and creativity, as does the region that they call home. 

“Our valley is home to wineries, craft breweries, beaches, and we’re also growing our arts and culture sector, celebrating more and more local talent. The Okanagan is exciting and progressive and growing so fast, it’s a truly fantastic place to work and play.”

Looking forward, the company wants to expand into other provinces and is excited about the farm-gate sales program currently in development by BC’s provincial government. Cleo notes that the local government and organizations like the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission recognize the cannabis industry as a significant driver of economic growth in the region. This support and growth also extend to the region’s tourism industry—in the spring of 2022, Kelowna successfully hosted the inaugural BC Cannabis Summit and the CannaGolf Classic. 

“It makes me feel very confident in the future of the industry because now that we’re finally being recognized and marketed alongside the other local core industries, it means the massive potential that has always been here is now turning into a profitable reality,” adds Cleo. “There are lots of benefits to running the business here, there’s lots of opportunity for growth and expansion, so that’s a big benefit to being in Kelowna.”


From its operations in Canada, Europe and Australia, Toronto- based Flowr produces fully licensed recreational and medicinal cannabis.  Its flagship campus in Kelowna comprises an 85,000 square foot licensed indoor growing facility, the FLOWR Forest, a 595,000 plus square foot outdoor growing operation, and the new Hawthorne R&D Facility, a state of the art 50,000 square foot cannabis R&D centre, largely funded by Scott’s Miracle-Gro & Hawthorne Gardening.

Founded in 2017, Flowr has more than doubled its staff in the last year, employing over 150 people locally. 30% of those are highly accomplished professionals (engineers, scientists, executives, industry experts) who relocated to Kelowna from across Canada and internationally. One of them is Aman Malhi, Director of People and Culture.

“I moved to Kelowna in November 2019 and have absolutely loved the Okanagan area since day one,” states Malhi. “The Okanagan climate is attractive to people and plants alike, with a huge tourist industry and a long growing season.

Flowr’s investment in the area offers the opportunity for long term careers and benefits the community through spending on local vendors, contractors and service providers. The company also provides opportunities for local university co-op students, investing in the leaders of the future to help take our business to the next level” says Malhi.

“The Okanagan climate is attractive to people and plants alike, with a huge tourist industry and a long growing season.”