P.E.I.'s first medical marijuana facility gets licence to sell

P.E.I.'s medical marijuana factory is officially licensed to sell its product by Health Canada.

Facility harvested first crop in September

Canada's Island Garden, P.E.I.'s first medical marijuana factory, is now licensed to sell their product. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

P.E.I.'s medical marijuana factory is officially licensed to sell its product by Health Canada, says the company's co-owner.

"We've had a production licence to cultivate cannabis for few months now. We've had several crops that we've been able to harvest," said Edwin Jewell, president and co-owner of Canada's Island Garden — the only licensed facility for medical marijuana in Prince Edward Island.

"Of course the whole objective is not just to grow crops but to be able to sell it and to be where we are right now is very, very encouraging."

Islanders can receive a prescription for medical marijuana from their doctor or health care practitioner.

As part of the licence, once the prescription has been authenticated by Canada's Island Garden, patients can be registered and have their prescription sent to them in the mail. 

The company's initial products include three different strains of dried bud, at three different strengths. The product itself sells for about $9 a gram.

Jewell said the company chose Island names for the products because, "we want people to know it comes from P.E.I." 

No promotion allowed

"We're only a few days away from being able to release product for sale," he said. "I would hope that by next week we would have product ready to go out the door," said Jewell.

This photo of the production facility was taken before Canada's Island Garden was licensed for sale. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Now that it's licensed, the company is not allowed to promote the product. Because of this, CBC is no longer allowed to bring a camera into the production facility.

"Cannabis is no different from other narcotics. The rules in Canada say you can't promote the use of narcotics and cannabis falls under that," Jewell explained.

"We can talk about our company, we can talk about our staff, we can talk about our building and our processes … but I can't promote the product itself."

First for the Island

Jewell said those are just some of the hurdles the company has had to overcome in order to receive their licence. The process to get up and running has taken about four years.

"There's security clearances that are required, sanitary protocols, standard operating procedures to follow, documentation recall procedures. There's a whole array of regulations that need to be followed," he said.

Jewell said he's excited to finally move forward.

"​It's not often that as a business person you have an opportunity to be the first person on an island and one of the few people in Canada that is part of a brand new industry and it hasn't been done before," said Jewell.