It’s hiring time at marijuana grower Zenabis’ massive plant in Stellarton, a town now buzzing with excitement at the prospect of hundreds of new jobs.
So far, there’s only one position posted on the job boards for the company’s Stellarton plant.
But it’s a start, says Stellarton Mayor Danny MacGillivray.
“I saw it this morning and I’m very excited,” said the mayor in an interview Thursday. “It’s an indicator they will go ahead with a production facility in Stellarton.”
On job boards, Zenabis is recruiting for what it calls a section grower or lead production supervisor.
According to the job description, that’s someone who manages commercial medical marijuana facility operations and performs such tasks as cloning, transplanting, plant maintenance, pest and pathogen management, trimming, drying, curing, packaging, destruction and inventory management.
The salary for the full-time job in Stellarton is $45,000 and it includes a six-month to one-year training period at the company’s Atholville facility in northern New Brunswick.
The company’s website also shows it is recruiting for a quality assurance associate, a quality assurance manager and supervisors for customer service, human resources, and post harvest. Those jobs appear to be based in Atholville.
Zenabis officials did not respond to a request for comment on their hiring blitz by deadline Thursday.
Stellarton’s mayor, though, is hoping the green light for the Stellarton plant will mean hundreds of jobs and a boost to the local economy.
“There will be a lot of spin-offs,” said MacGillivray. “It will bring a lot of people with good-paying jobs to the restaurants and malls.”
Jack Kyte, executive director of the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce, is also bullish on the arrival of Zenabis.
“With some of the things happening in the community lately, we’ve lost some jobs, and anything that can bring jobs back is welcome,” he said.
The community of 4,000 residents was hit hard earlier this year when its major employer, Sobeys, first gave the axe to 14 execs in October and then laid off another 100 employees at its Stellarton head office as part of a national restructuring of its operations.
Zenabis’ apparent decision to go ahead with operations in its 280,000-square-foot Stellarton digs is fueling a renewed sense of hope among businesses in the community.
Jim Gennoe, president of W&E Gennoe Bakery in Stellarton and Gennoe’s Truck Repair Services and Gennoe’s Baking Supplies in nearby Plymouth, is already hoping to work out a deal with the company to supply its cafeteria or lunchroom with baked goods, including pies, cakes, sandwiches and doughnuts.
That’s a deal that could be worth up to $70,000 annually for Gennoe’s bakery, a 13-person operation just down the road from the Zenabis plant.
Three months after getting its license to produce medical marijuana at its 393,000-square-foot Atholville plant, the company behind the Zenabis brand, International Herbs and Medical Marijuana Ltd., inked a deal to supply recreational pot to New Brunswickers.
Under a memorandum of understanding with the Province of New Brunswick, Zenabis will provide up to $50 million’s worth of cannabis, or about 4,000 kg. of cannabis, and derivative products to the province’s recreational pot users. The deal was done in anticipation of the legalization of recreational marijuana next year.
In late November, the company also announced it is in the late stages of securing a license for its Stellarton plant.