Weedon, tiny Quebec town with an apropos name, hopes to become a cannabis capital

A major marijuana production facility is expected to cost $200 million and create at least 200 jobs in the town of Weedon, Que., where the mayor says the economy could use a boost.

Canadian marijuana producers expected to open greenhouse facility

The small town of Weedon, Que., is hoping to become a major player in the medical cannabis industry. (Radio-Canada)

Weedon is the name, and the small Quebec town's mayor says "it's no secret" that the moniker helped attract the construction of a 1.5 million-square-foot cannabis production facility. 

But Mayor Richard Tanguay said "it all worked out because we had the other elements, too" that convinced two Canadian companies to invest in the municipality in Quebec's Eastern Townships with a population of about 2,800.

MYM Nutraceuticals, a medical marijuana producer, has partnered with Montreal-based Canna Canada to build 15 100,000-square-foot greenhouses at an old gravel pit.

The project is expected to cost $200 million and in its second phase would include an "interpretation centre," consisting of a research facility, museum and auditorium.

Weedon Mayor Richard Tanguay says a large-scale medical marijuana facility could put the small town on the map. (Radio-Canada)

Rob Gietl, CEO of MYM Nutraceuticals, said it was the name that led its partner, Canna Canada, to consider Weedon in its research for a place to set up.

"Yes, the name is a great marketing tool," Gietl said with a laugh.

"But at the end of the day, it was about the perfect fit — the mayor, the council members, the city itself in terms of being able to grow and develop within the community, which is embracing this."

Tanguay said what sealed the deal was the municipality's remoteness, agro-forestry industry and its work developing a sustainability project. 

Boon for a small town

Gietl said the company is hoping to break ground this summer and start production soon after. 

He said the company is "100 per cent focusing on medical marijuana at the moment," but that it would look into growing cannabis for recreational use.

Marijuana is set to be legalized across the country in the summer of 2018.

"It's a very interesting time in this industry," Geitl said.

The mayor said the project would be a huge boost to the town's economy, which is experiencing a lull.

It's expected to create at least 200 jobs and foster related business activity.

"One day this could make Weedon known across the world," Tanguay said. 

With files from Kate McKenna and Radio-Canada