Medical marijuana plant to be
up and running by fall
at the Bruce Energy Centre
By Liz Dadson
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Robert Cottrill (R), vice-president of the Penetangore Regional Economic Development Corporation (PREDC), welcomes Aaron Ruimy (L) and Sarah Herburger of AMMCan, which has purchased the greenhouse in the Bruce Energy Centre to build a medical marijuana facility, to PREDC's meet-and-greet Thursday night
Kincardine will be home to the first greenhouse medical marijuana production facility in Ontario, this fall.
The announcement was made Thursday night (June 26) at the Penetangore Regional Economic Development Corporation (PREDC) meet-and-greet evening held at the Best Western Plus Governor's Inn.
PREDC vice-president Robert Cottrill told about 35 people gathered for the event, that one of the new businesses coming to Kincardine is Advanced Medical Marijuana Canada (AMMCan) of Toronto which has purchased the greenhouse in the Bruce Energy Centre, west of Tiverton.
The company is in the process of cleaning up the site and plans to be up and running by Sept. 1. Once it is fully-operational, it will employ 80-100 people.
AMMCan vice-president Sarah Herburger and Aaron Ruimy, Information Technology (IT) director, were at the PREDC event and spoke to the press afterwards.
Herburger said she and her mother use medical marijuana for health conditions, so her father began growing it under the old laws and regulations which allowed users to grow the product for their own use.
When the laws changed in February, they applied for a licence to produce medical marijuana.
Then, they began looking for a facility.
Herburger's father, Peter, is friends with Helmut Sieber who said he had the perfect site at the greenhouse in the energy centre.
"It's been a bit of work getting the site cleaned up," said Herburger.
The greenhouse is 340,000 square feet in size, and has been abandoned for quite some time. The plan is to divide the facility into four phases, with the first phase up and running this fall.
That phase will employ about 20-30 people, said Ruimy.
The facility will operate "seed-to-sale," said Herburger. That includes growing the plants, drying them, curing and packaging the product, and selling it.
"Once the entire plant is up and running, we will be processing about 150 pounds per day," said Ruimy.
The facility is regulated by Health Canada, said Herburger, and besides getting the building cleaned up and prepared to manufacture the product, the company must ensure safety and security of the site.
"It has to meet certain safety regulations, the same as any narcotic," she said. "This industry is very strict, very regulated and very safe."
Ruimy said the people of Kincardine have been very welcoming. "We are absolutely thrilled with how well we have been received by our neighbours and by the community."
© Copyright Liz Dadson
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Friday, June 27, 2014