An old factory in Stellarton has turned a new leaf.
Vida Cannabis's wholly owned Canadian subsidiary Vida Cannabis (Canada) has signed a purchase and sale agreement to produce medicinal and recreational marijuana in the Clairtone building, originally a television factory in the 1960s and only occasionally used since, by Sears for example as a warehouse.
Vida Cannabis will use the facility to house a large-scale medical marijuana production plant. The deal is scheduled to close on or before Apr. 15 for a total purchase price of $500,000.
Vida Cannabis could employ as many as 200-300 people at full production.
Under the terms of the agreement, Vida Canada will be granted by the Town of Stellarton a 50-year irrevocable license to produce medical marijuana at the facility, subject to Vida Canada obtaining a commercial license from Health Canada. Such local approval is a condition necessary to making a successful application to Health Canada.
Stellarton Mayor Joe Gennoe welcomed Vida Cannabis.
"We are delighted to see the old Clairtone factory be put back into production, albeit in an industry I never could have imagined even five years ago. As things change we, too, must adapt," he said. "Health Canada has established policies and procedures that ensure the legal production of medical marijuana is secure. We welcome Vida Cannabis to bring much needed employment opportunities back to the Town of Stellarton and support their efforts."
Vida calls the building itself a virtual fortress, saying the 315,000-square-foot facility is contained entirely under one large, 7-acre steel roof erected on windowless 18-foot-high concrete walls supported by an engineered concrete floor that is in nearly perfect condition.
As the interior of the facility is structured like an aircraft hangar, it is literally wide open with no restrictive points to developing a customized medical marijuana plant that optimizes the building’s entire square footage.
Set 400 meters back from a transport highway, the 12-acre property has a single access point making security remarkably efficient for such a large building, which is already surrounded by a 3-meter high fence with barbed wire top.
In keeping with Health Canada requirements for licensing of medical marihuana production facilities, intrusion detection systems, round-the-clock surveillance and other minor security-related alterations will be implemented by Vida.
Vida Cannabis CEO J. Gregory Wilson noted he is extremely pleased with the total package that accompanies this remarkable facility.
"The people of the Town of Stellarton are at the top of that list. The local support for our Canadian medicinal marijuana operations has been virtually 100%. When operating at full capacity we anticipate labour needs of 200-300 employees," he said. "We look forward to bringing quality employment opportunities to the area and will hire and train people from the region whenever possible.”
Vida Cannabis is not yet listed among the nine licensed producers of medical marihuana in Canada on the Health Canada website.
Edwin Jewell, a farmer on PEI has started Canada’s Island Garden Inc. to grow cannabis in Charlottetown and is also still seeking licensing approval.
Tweed is one of the nine already licensed. They are renovating a former Hersey chocolate factory in Smiths falls Ontario.
Whistler Medical Marijuana Company is also licensed and says they have capacity for 3,000 patients. Their website says they have 20 years experience producing cannabis, organic grapes and berry crops, greenhouse production of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers—and they claim to be the first all-organic facility in Canada.
Thunderbird Biomedical, on Vancouver Island has a large countdown clock on their home page. It said 97 days, 1 hour, 13 minutes and 9 seconds as of press time and counting until they start producing in July.
MedReleaf Corp. has a 55,000 square foot production facility in Markham, Ontario and a “highly skilled team” of “experienced professionals with backgrounds and post-graduate degrees in business, molecular plant genetics, biotechnology, horticulture, clinical laboratory management and operations, and hospital administration.”
CanniMed of Saskatchewan also sells a vapourizer, approved by Health Canada.
“This premiere vaporization system gives CanniMed patients another delivery option to consume medical marijuana without the health concerns inherent in smoking,” says their website.
Bedrocan is an offshoot of a Dutch company with over 10 years experience working “with universities, industry, government, and NGO partners in the Netherlands and around the world to conduct the genetic, botanical, chemical, and social research necessary to help cannabis meet the regulatory demands of modern medicine.”
Mettrum promotes a 30/30 pricing plan on their website offering 30 per cent off the cost of the first 30 grams patients order every month.
To qualify for the discount patients have to be receiving financial assistance from a provincial or federal income assistance program, or have a total annual income below $30,000 a year.
The growing list of licensed medical marijuana producers is available on the Health Canada website at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/marihuana/info/list-eng.php.