Medical marijuana producer coming to Chatham-Kent

Medical marijuana company J.P. Mariwell is aiming to start building a greenhouse and processing centre for cannabis near Wheatley in fall 2017.

J.P. Mariwell mid-licensing process; wants to start construction by fall 2017

Medical marijuana company J.P. Maxwell hopes to begin construction on a new facility in Chatham-Kent in fall 2017. (J.P. Mariwell/Supplied)

Medical marijuana company J.P. Mariwell is aiming to start building a greenhouse and processing centre for cannabis in Chatham-Kent by fall 2017.

Plans for the facility also include a customer contact centre. According to J.P. Mariwell, their plans will allow them to produce 6,000 kilograms of medical marijuana annually.

A release from the company said the municipality of Chatham-Kent has approved the plan for the two hectare site, located near Wheatley, and that the land has been zoned for marijuana production. The company has also said it plans to use no pesticides in an "environmentally friendly operational model" on land along the Lake Erie shoreline. 
Paul Greco, President of J.P. Mariwell (Supplied)

Mariwell has access to more than 68 hectares, room potential expansion in the future.

"Southwestern Ontario is probably the best place to have a greenhouse facility," said company president Paul Greco. "The community is very friendly to us, they've been very open to us. We all live and work in Chatham-Kent and we wanted to bring another industry to the community."

The company said in a release that it's moved past security clearances and into the fifth stage of Health Canada's licensing process, which involves reviewing the application prior to any inspections.

"We're very happy to get the news ... about moving into the next phase," said Greco. "We've still got a long road ahead of us but we're very excited."

The federal health agency is responsible for authorizing production of the drug for medical purposes under ACMPR, or the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. There are two more steps past the federal review stage involving inspection and final licensing.

Greco is hopeful the Health Canada approval will come quickly.

"They tell us that it'll be a matter of months," he said. "We're anticipating that by the time we finish our facility build we'll be through that [Health Canada] phase."