According to niagarathisweek.com: The medical marijuana business is booming across Canada, with cannabis growers finding deserted spaces — including former manufacturing facilities and greenhouses — and converting them into a multimillion-dollar industry.
It’s a divisive issue. While many see the employment and economic potential, there is also a group who don’t want to see such facilities built in their backyard, fearing odours, potential crime and other issues.
With the business desperate to expand, however, it is becoming an opportunity to reinvigorate brownfields. Niagara has seen its fair share, including a recent transaction which has Westbrook selling one of its former orchid-growing greenhouses to Up Cannabis Inc.
The sale showed just some of the reasons the region is seen as an ideal location, including having existing infrastructure that fits the growers needs, access to skilled greenhouse workers to help fill the estimated 100 positions that will be created at the facility and the opportunity to use natural light for the crops.
And for those concerned with security? Up Cannabis Inc. CEO Jay Wilgar says they must adhere to Health Canada’s tight security regulations for marijuana production, meaning they will install hundreds of security cameras, a laser detection system, a secure vault to hold the finished product and more.
While there are still some bad apples out there — all you need to do is search the news archives to find busts at illegal grow-ops across Niagara being hidden under medical marijuana licences — police say the majority of Health Canada licences are used for legitimate medical purposes by law-abiding citizens.
All you need to do is look down the highway in Niagara-on-the-Lake for a model facility at Tweed Farms. Since acquiring their greenhouse on Concession 5 Road in Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2014, they have carefully followed the rules of the law; have ensured they have a highly secure operation; and everything is labelled, tested and no product is diverted illegally. They are lauded by the town.