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Local company seeking approval for medical marijuana production

TRURO – A young entrepreneur with a green thumb is taking another step in the business world – he’s applying for a medical marijuana producer’s license.

Evan Price, president of FiddleHop Farms in Glenholme, will be at Province House on Tuesday as a successful applicant to the provincial Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program. The voucher will allow the farm to work with a chemical biologist to see if there are secondary benefits to hops. File photo

“It’s really the same way that I got into growing fiddleheads,” said Evan Price, president of 3277991 Nova Scotia Ltd., about applying for the license next week. “I’ve got friends that are growing their own medical marijuana and friends that got prescribed marijuana.”

With the federal government announcing changes to the Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes Regulations, those growing their own medicinal marijuana and those purchasing from them won’t be able to continue doing so.

“If there aren’t local companies growing medicinal marijuana, patients will have to either go without or bid for the same thing,” said Price, 30, who also owns and operates FiddleHop Farms in Glenholme, growing fiddleheads and hops.

If approval is given to the new venture, Price hopes to become the province’s largest producer of medicinal marijuana.

“Licenses allow production of between 3,000 and 15,000 kilograms of marijuana, so we’re looking at producing between 6,000 and 15,000 kilograms a year if we are approved,” he said.

If approval is given to the new venture, Price said the facility would be close to 20,000 square feet – the main space would be about 15,000 square feet with an additional 3,000 to 4,000 on a second storey.

“We’d be looking at establishing the facility in Truro, which would be an M1 or M2 zone location, or the Industrial Park. We’d be looking at $1.5 to $2.5 million spent in the first year of production,” he said.

The facility would have state-of-the-art growing technology and security systems, and employ 35-50 people.

The new venture would also drive local research, he says, and development opportunities with the inclusion of a research lab within the facility. The venture would seek to partner with both St. Francis Xavier and Dalhousie universities, offering the latest in chemical analysis to ensure product quality while driving new health care product development.

“Our lab will provide opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to obtain practical industry research experience,” Price said, in a press release about the venture. “We plan to work with medical patients and practitioners across Atlantic Canada to enhance quality treatment options for the members of our community.”

Price said it’s important, when the laws change on April 1, to make sure medicinal marijuana users can access the best possible product.

“So we want to grow it right here in Nova Scotia,” he said.

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

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