The man who runs a nursery in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's says red tape is slowing down his plans for the start of Newfoundland and Labrador's first medical marijuana farm.

Ian McDonald, who runs Bickerstaffe Farms and Nurseries, said his application for a commercial license has been taking longer than he originally hoped.

"We were a little bit over-optimistic in the speed we'd be able to get it all through," he said.

"We're just about to the end of the application now, completing it. We've got a consultant retained to help us with a certain portion of it. It's a bit out of our league."

Ottawa commercialized the medical marijuana industry in April, banning people from growing their own product.

McDonald said he's been contacted by several people seeking medical marijuana in the province during the process, and he hopes to get the business operating as soon as possible.

"As you get in, you find out more and more information, you find out more and more things are needed, so I think we knew going in we were dealing with the federal government and that's never a fast process, but it is taking a little bit longer than we would have originally anticipated," he said.

According to McDonald, he is making a $2- to $3-million investment to build the marijuana farm, pending approval from the federal government.