Anthony Wile, left, and Greg Wilson look forward to the day when the Clairtone building in Stellarton will be bustling with activity. They stand here in part of the large building. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS
NEW GLASGOW – Right now, the former Clairtone building in Stellarton sits vacant.
Inside the floor is speckled with pigeon droppings, outside the paint is peeling and around back you’ll find a skateboard park local youth must have built.
When Greg Wilson and Anthony Wile look at it though, they see only potential and talk of a day when it will be bustling with activity again.
On Wednesday Wilson, CEO of Vida Cannabis, and Wile, whose company, High Alert is helping to finance the purchase of the building, were in Stellarton making arrangements for what they hope will become the largest medicinal and recreational marijuana facility in Canada and possibly North America.
Wile paints a picture of a clean-looking building with fresh landscaping, state of the art security and dozens of people at work.
“It’ll be white, bright and solid as a rock,” he says describing what the building will look like when they’re finished.
Wednesday there were men inspecting the roof, which is in need of repairs. Earlier Nova Scotia Power was out to discuss the power requirements the company will have. There were discussions too with a fencing company as well as Verhagen Demolition to get the building up to the standards it needs to meet Health Canada requirements.
In many ways, Wile says the facility is ideal for what they want. It only has one access point. It’s a large building at 300,000 square feet and even the climate is ideal in this area. With an indoor marijuana plant one of the major issues is keeping the building cool with all the lights needed to grow the plants inside. Most have to be air conditioned continuously but here in Nova Scotia, he believes the natural cold weather could be taken advantage of. He jokes that low temperatures are the northern hemisphere’s greatest natural resource.
“It’s an optimized facility in an optimized climate,” Wile said.
The deal to sell the building for $500,000 to Vida Cannabis is scheduled to be finalized by April 15, but Wile said it could happen much sooner. He’d like to see it happen by the third week in March.
Already, Wilson said they’ve been talking to the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce about joining and he and Wile both talk optimistically about becoming part of the community.
Once the facility is completed, they are confident it will get approval from Health Canada.
“It looks really good,” said Sunrise Reality agent Cathy Covey. “I’m cautiously optimistic.”
She said the company has put down a significant downpayment as proof of their real intent to purchase the building but did not disclose the amount.
Some people have expressed concern about Wile’s financial past, however, and have questioned the undertaking.
Wile assures this deal is serious. He says he is not looking for a penny of government money and is currently only dealing with accredited investors.
About 10 years ago Wile along with several others was accused by the US Securities and Exchange Commission of violating antifraud and securities offering registration provisions.
An excerpt from the decision states: As further alleged in the Commission’s Complaint, in late 2002, Anthony Wile and another individual formed Renaissance Mining Corporation (“Renaissance”) and thereafter engaged in substantial promotional activities that created the misleading impression that Renaissance had acquired three Central American gold mines and was the “Leading Gold Producer in Latin America.” In fact, Renaissance had only executed a non-binding Letter of Intent to acquire those mines and lacked the funding necessary to consummate the acquisition. The Complaint further alleges that Wile acted in concert with the Lines brothers, who acquired a publicly traded shell, Sedona Software Solutions, Inc., using LOM accounts in the names of nominees to disguise their ownership of the Sedona shell, as part of a plan to merge Sedona with Renaissance.
The complaint alleges that, in early 2003, Wile and an associate primed the market for Renaissance/Sedona by disseminating materially false and misleading information that misrepresented the ownership of the gold mines and created the impression that the Renaissance/Sedona merger had been completed. It states Wile and his associate also arranged for the Renaissance/Sedona offering to be touted to prospective investors by Robert Chapman, the publisher of an on-line investment newsletter, and three other newsletter writers, all of whom purchased Renaissance shares for nominal sums. Wile and his associate informed the market that there would be an opportunity to invest in Renaissance by acquiring Sedona stock at approximately $10 per share beginning on Jan. 21, 2003.
According to the Complaint’s allegations, on that date, Wile orchestrated a pre-arranged manipulative trade between his uncle Wayne E. Wile (who had changed his name to Wayne Wew), and Brian Lines to artificially drive up the price of Sedona stock from $.03 per share to over $9.00 per share and stimulate trading in the stock. The complaint alleged that Scott Lines solicited investors, including at least one LOM customer in the United States, to purchase Renaissance stock in anticipation of the merger between Renaissance and Sedona, without disclosing that he and Brian Lines owned the Sedona shell corporation. The complaint further alleged that, after Renaissance and Sedona had announced their pending merger, the Lines brothers sold 143,000 shares of Sedona stock in an unregistered distribution to numerous public investors at between $8.95 and $9.45 per share, reaping over $1 million in illegal profits. On Jan. 29, 2003, the Commission suspended trading in Sedona’s stock.
Wile, without admitting or denying the commission’s allegations, consented to the entry of the judgments against him in 2010. He was ordered to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $35,000, barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for a period of five years and barred from participating in an offering of penny stock for a period of three years.
Wile, addressing this past on Wednesday, said that as part of the agreement with the SEC he had agreed he would not talk about the case publicly, so he could not address the accusations.
He did say however that all the shareholders had received their money back in this situation and not one civil litigation suit was brought against the company. He said he would never admit to doing something wrong that he hadn’t, which is why he agreed to consent to the entry of judgments against him but without admission of guilt.
Immediately upon the SEC investigation Wile and the management team returned all capital to all investors. Since the deal was only six days old none of the money was used.
“I’ve never been subjected to a criminal case,” Wile said.