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Growing business: It's a fertile market for Antigonish County cannabis operation

Frank MacMaster, president and head grower at Highland Grown in Ohio, Antigonish County, checks his crop.
Frank MacMaster, president and head grower at Highland Grown in Ohio, Antigonish County, checks his crop. - Aaron Beswick

A 100,000 square foot marijuana growing facility is in the works for rural Antigonish County.

That’s a 2.5 acre building.

Highland Grow, whose 7,000 square foot facility is waiting on a final inspection from Health Canada before it receives a license to sell, plans to start construct before year’s end.

Highland Grow is one of the subsidiaries of Biome Grow, which went public on Tuesday on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

With 100 million shares issued, the company started trading at $1 a share and was up to $1.90 by Wednesday at 5 p.m.

“We have some of the money right now to do this,” said Khurram Malik, interim chief executive officer of Biome, of the Antigonish County expansion.

The company is also currently building large cannabis growing facilities in Newfoundland and in Ontario.

The Antigonish County facility, being run by Frank MacMaster, is the furthest along in permitting.

Malik said the goal of the stock offering is to continue to raise capital for Biome and its four subsidiaries to meet its ambitious building targets. The Highland Grow facility will employ between 80 and 120 people, said Malik.

“We’re oversizing our capacity in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia so that we can supply the international market."

He said the company has been in talks with the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. and anticipate selling through them locally, while also exporting to countries that are working toward medical and recreational marijuana legalization but want to import from Canada.

“We are in Atlantic Canada and that’s our home base,” said Malik.

“But in the next two to three years, most of our sales will come from overseas.”

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