An Island farmer is preparing to build a medical marijuana production operation in Charlottetown and says he hopes ground will soon be broken on the facility as his new company clears Health Canada hurdles.
Edwin Jewell said he expects to begin construction on the project in the coming months, with plans to build a nearly 14,000-square foot facility and office in the BioCommons Research Park.
Jewell has started Canada’s Island Garden Inc. with two other principals. He said there’s "strong potential there for successful business" and expects to employ about 15 people.
"It’s a new industry, it’s going to happen," said Jewell, who is also the owner of Jewell’s Country Market in York, P.E.I. "Of course there’s licences (that have) been granted by Health Canada across the country right now."
Jewell said Health Canada has told him that a licence will be granted once all company principals get security clearance and officials inspect the building.
"We’ve taken considerable steps to make the sure the building is safe," Jewell said.
The proposal is one of a series in the Maritimes. A medical marijuana facility could be up and running by the end of this month in Moncton, N.B., as OrganiGram Inc. undergoes final inspections of its 20,000-square foot facility.
In Stellarton, N.S., Vida Cannabis Corp. says it will spend between $4 million and $5 million to secure and convert a portion of the old Clairtone Sound Corporation building for marijuana production.
Last month Charlottetown city councillors voted to amend development bylaws to restrict legal marijuana growing operations to industrial areas.
Patients using medical marijuana will no longer be allowed to grow plants in their homes as of April 1. Instead, federally-approved commercial growers will produce and ship medicinal marijuana directly to patients.