A Nova Scotia company is planning to set up a marijuana production plant in rural Pictou County.
Roger Stuckless, one of the owners of Nova Grow Ltd., told The News Thursday that Canadian Vape Inc. purchased the building at 712 Durham Rd., Scotsburn, but it is being leased to Nova Grow, which he said is licensed to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes.
“We have started all of the renovations and we are looking to hire our first staff in three to four weeks,” he said, adding the business will employ between 100 and 150.
Stuckless would provide little detail about Nova Grow Ltd. and its other business dealings, however, he said the Scotsburn location will not be producing recreational marijuana and there will be no retail shop on site.
Stuckless said there will be a wide range of jobs available in March including bookkeeper, accounting and general labour. In fact, he said, some people have already sent in resumés for some positions even though his company hasn’t advertised jobs yet.
“We already have tons of applicants.”
In addition to making renovations on the existing building on the site, he said three more buildings are going up on the property.
In terms of having a commercial presence in a rural community, Stuckless said local residents will not know his business is there unless they are looking for it. Lighting will be inside the building and security will be around the clock. He claims the entire production system will be environmentally friendly and all of its products will be grown indoors.
Currently Nova Grow is not listed as one of Health Canada’s thus far 88 approved businesses to produce marijuana.
The company is listed in the Joint Stocks registry with a Hammonds Plains address and it states its previous name was Nova Budds Dispensary Inc. Everett R. Stuckless is listed as both a director and recognized agent for Nova Grow Ltd.
Health Canada stipulates that, as of now, only licensed producers are able to legally produce marijuana in the country for medicinal purposes. A Health Canada spokeswoman added that many businesses are waiting for licence approval, but it is a lengthy process. As of May 25, 2017, Health Canada said it had received 1,165 applications for companies to become licensed producers.
The Trudeau government introduced legislation in April with the goal of legalizing marijuana for recreational use by July 2018, but left it to the provinces to determine details such as how it will be sold.
When marijuana is legalized in Canada, a person or business will continue to apply to Health Canada to grow marijuana for their own use for medical purposes, or if a person wants to be a licensed provider it must be done in a secure, sanitary place.
Nova Scotia announced recreational marijuana will be sold through certain Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation outlets and online when it becomes legal in Canada.
This is the second marijuana production company looking to set up shop in Pictou County. Vida Cannabis purchased the former Clairtone building in Stellarton in 2014, extensively renovated it and applied to Health Canada for licensing. It has since sold the building to Zenabis, which is currently waiting for approval from Health Canada for the same location after announcing in late November that it was in the process of securing a licence for the Stellarton location.
Zenabis recently signed 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 worth 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.