August 23rd, 2016
Opportunities NB and the Regional Development Corporation, through the Northern New Brunswick Economic Development and Innovation Fund, have each invested $2 million in the form of a repayable loan into the facility which will be run by International Herbs Medical Marijuana Ltd.
The facility is expected to create 208 jobs in Northern New Brunswick by the end of 2021.
International Herbs Medical Marijuana Ltd., which will operate as Zenabis, has reached the pre-licence inspection phase of the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulation application process. The company has been reviewed by the Office of Controlled Substances and the property’s (the former Atlantic Yarns building) physical security plans are adequate to move to the next phase of the approval process.
The ownership group for Zenabis is based in British Columbia with principal shareholders involved in International Herbs, a leading North American herbal company with products such as herbs, baby vegetables, lettuce and gourmet salads.
“The Zenabis team is excited about today’s announcement and we will do our best to be a committed member of this community for years to come,” said Kevin Coft, CEO of International Herbs Medical Marijuana Ltd, in a release. “In our first phase, the total investment will be close to $14 million, which will generate about 300 construction jobs. We look forward to the next phases, where we will continue to expand our workforce and create hundreds of more jobs.”
Following the completion of construction of the production facility, the company will request a pre-licence inspection by Health Canada. If approved, the company will receive a production-only licence. Upon production of a crop that meets specified quality-control standards and production practices under the regulation, the company may receive a licence to sell to the public. If it is not licensed, the provincial government loans will still be required to be repaid.
Once licensed, the expected 208 job will include include senior management, lead growers, assistant growers, product technicians, trimmers, packaging, shipping, research and development, accounting, maintenance and contact centre agents. That number of jobs may increase if the federal government legalizes recreational marijuana.
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Donald Arsenault told Huddle the provincial government sees the medical marijuana industry as a big economic opportunity.
“When you look at the various sectors that are potentially emerging sectors we talk a lot about things like cybersecurity, but medical marijuana is also one that is of a growing trend,” he said. “We’re seeing what’s happening just south of the boarder and there’s a great opportunity now with the federal government that this is an area that going to continue to grow in Canada as well. It’s important that we position ourselves.”
At full operation, the company is expected to contribute about $15 million annually to New Brunswick’s GDP.