New opportunity, even if it’s unusual

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Well here’s an enterprise that won’t fall under the traditional category in Nova Scotia. Nor is it likely medicinal marijuana will be described as a sunset industry anytime soon.

And that’s just one of the pluses that a marijuana production plant proposed for Stellarton has going for it.

Naturally, as news broke Friday of this venture by Vida Cannabis, which has an eye on the former Clairtone building on the edge of Stellarton, the reaction included many chuckles and mirthful references to pot culture. That’s to be expected – and a good sign in itself. With the growing reputation for medicinal properties, attitudes toward marijuana have shifted hugely in recent decades, and the scandalized shock factor is behind most of us.

As Stellarton Mayor Joe Gennoe put it, it’s an industry he could never have imagined moving into the vacant spot even five years ago. But things change.

This is a significant development and glowing opportunity in many ways. In coincidental irony, The News had published on the same day of the Vida Cannabis announcement an article about the history of the building, occupied by Clairtone in the 1960s to manufacture stereo equipment. It’s been empty since its demise and efforts have never panned out to find a new occupant.

Vida Cannabis makes reference to the ideal aspects of this building, which with its concrete walls it describes as a fortress. The company estimates a workforce eventually of 200 to 300 – a substantial number in a county of 45,000.

The deal at this point still depends on the company obtaining appropriate licensing.

This is an industry with great potential for growth, with medicinal marijuana typically used by patients for chronic pain management or to combat nausea associated with certain conditions. Doctors – with some reluctant to acknowledge the value – are gradually learning more about applications. Plus we can expect research to continue into potential uses for this valuable plant.

Geographic location: Stellarton, Nova Scotia

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