Regional Development Corporation
Medical marijuana company receives government support23 August 2016
ATHOLVILLE (GNB) – The provincial government is providing support for a proposed medical marijuana facility that is expected to create up to 208 jobs in northern New Brunswick.
“We understand how important job creation, education and health care are to New Brunswickers,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “With this investment we are getting things done to grow the economy and create jobs for people right here at home.”
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 thoroughly reviewed by the Office of Controlled Substances and the property’s physical security plans are adequate to move to the next phase of the approval process.
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 good production practices under the regulation, the company may receive a licence to sell to the public. Once licensed, it is expected that more than 200 jobs will be created, with that number expanding significantly in the event the federal government legalizes recreational marijuana. If it is not licensed, the provincial government loans will still be required to be repaid.
The ownership group for Zenabis is based in British Columbia with principal shareholders being involved in International Herbs, a leading specialty North American herbal company with products such as fresh 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 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.”
Opportunities NB and the Regional Development Corporation, through the Northern New Brunswick Economic Development and Innovation Fund, have each invested $2 million for a total investment of $4 million. The company’s plan is to create 208 full-time jobs in Atholville by the end of 2021.The jobs include senior management, lead growers, assistant growers, product technicians, trimmers, packaging, shipping, research and development, accounting, maintenance and contact center agents. At full operation the company is expected to contribute about $15 million annually to New Brunswick’s GDP.
The renovation of the facility will also employ local contractors. The former Atlantic Yarns building was purchased by the company in 2014. The available growing space has the potential to make the Zenabis one of the largest producers of medical marijuana in Canada.
Opportunities NB is a Crown corporation that seeks to attract and support opportunities to grow the economy and create jobs. It provides support services for businesses across the province.