Economic Opportunity


With the approval of Health Canada’s office of controlled substances, API Labs has been conducting research since 2012. This research has focused on gathering agronomic data to develop a best practice for commercial poppy cultivation. For example, our trials include assessing different varieties, testing different seeding densities, exploring pesticide application options, determining optimal soil nutrient levels, developing disease management strategies as well as the finding a practical mechanized approach to poppy cultivation.

Additional research is ongoing in the area of novel variety creation and developing the pharmaceutical extraction and conversion processes that will be employed in the future commercial API processing facility.


Prairie provinces provide the ideal conditions (high latitude and dry climate) for poppy crop production. Our work so far has successfully exploited the use of machinery common to the area including a disk-drill and traditional, straight-cut combine. Our future research will investigate the application of other types of seeding and harvest machinery.

So far, all cultivation has been done under the umbrella of a research licence and has been conducted on API Labs leased land. When the appropriate permission has been granted by the Canadian federal government, the culinary production of poppies would require the cultivation of the crop on additional farms.