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Wentworth company gets first N.S. go-ahead to grow

Marijuana
Marijuana

TRURO DAILY NEWS

WENTWORTH, N.S.

Nova Scotia’s first authorized medical marijuana producer expects to begin operation immediately, having just received federal permission.

We will be growing within the next week and our first crop is probably next April, said Bill Sandford, CEO of Breathing Green Solutions Inc., of Wentworth. The company was granted a cultivation licence by Health Canada on Friday along with three other firms across the country.

The situation is more in our control now, he said, of the approval, which followed a very lengthy and technical process.

The other three companies that received approval on Friday include Agrima Botanicals Corp., in B.C.; Agro-Greens Natural Products Ltd., in Saskatchewan; and Bloomera Inc., of Ontario.

Breathing Green Solutions has been in the works for several years following renovation and new construction efforts at a former military facility in Wentworth.

The 35-acre site was once home to a NATO satellite communications facility near Folly Lake until ceasing operation in 2006 because of outdated technology.

Sanford said the inside grow operation features a completely modernized 35,000-sq.-ft. structure that is ultimately expected to employ between 30 and 40 people.

Its very remote, he said, of the tightly secured site.  The facility is constructed to very high standards with very modern technology. Its what I would consider state-of-the art, in terms of modern growing capability. Its more like a pharmaceutical operation than it is like a farming greenhouse operation. It is pristine.

The master grower for the operation is an individual from British Columbia with 20-plus years of medical marijuana growing expertise.

Sandford said the next phase in the process is to receive a licence to sell cannabis, which can only be acquired after two test crops are given external approval.

In addition to selling medical marijuana, he said the company plans to sell retail to recreational users after the product is legalized next summer.

Evan Price, president of the Truro Herbal Company, said the wait is now on to see who receives the second licence to grow medical marijuana in Nova Scotia.

“It is a bit of a foot race now to finish construction for a few other applicants,” he said, of contenders in Kentville, Lunenburg and Halifax.

Price expects construction of his facility in the Truro Business Centre to begin this week with the pouring of the concrete floor pad.

“We’ll be able to finish most of our construction by spring with the licence to follow shortly after, hopefully,” he said.

But Price said he doesn’t anticipate having any problems finding clientele once they are up and running.

“The demand for recreational and medical cannabis is going to be far outmatched by even four or five producers in Nova Scotia. So we’re going to need quite a few producers just to handle our domestic business, ” he said.

So far, Health Canada has approved growing licences for 73 medical marijuana operations across the country. The most is in Ontario, with 40, followed by B.C. with 17. Nova Scotia and P.E.I. each have one and New Brunswick has two issued.

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