ARGENTIA, NL — A Newfoundland and Labrador company looking to become the first licensed producer of medical marijuana in the province is closer to realizing its goal.
Argentia Gold Corporation, a company incorporated earlier this year, recently received a file number from Health Canada and, according to a news release issued Monday, is working to become a licensed producer in compliance with federal regulations. The producing plant will make use of an 80,000 square foot concrete building (formerly the American Navy Mess Hall) in Argentia. There's also adjacent land available for potential expansion down the road.
“We are on schedule to have the facilities completed in May of 2018 and be ready to receive a license to produce cannabis," company president William Higgs said in the release. "We will need the full cooperation of Health Canada but it is possible to have a license facility in Newfoundland Labrador operational in July 2018.”
Construction will reportedly employ at least 50 workers and generate 130 jobs once the facility is operational.
Higgs, an outside investor, is working with two local businessmen, Adrian "Ed" Maher and Andrew Colford, to form a partnership on the project.
“Bill began asking questions about marijuana one day last year out of the blue," said Maher, the company's vice president. "At first, I didn’t think he was serious. After a couple of conversations, he indicated he was going to invest in a startup marijuana company in Ontario. We immediately began to think how could we attract these investment dollars to Newfoundland and Labrador."
The Town of Placentia gave its stamp of approval to the project in May, issuing a business permit to Placentia Bay Holdings Inc., an associated company of Argentia Gold Corporation.
“We have the full support of our local federal, provincial and municipal representatives. Everyone has been eager to support this new industry coming to Placentia Bay and are encouraged that we have the financing and wherewithal to see this plant completed in time for changes to the marijuana laws in Canada.”