A Nova Scotia cannabis grower has received a sales licence from Health Canada and hopes to have its product available for purchase at NSLC stores in time for Christmas.
“I think they’ll be almost as happy as we are to get licensed and be able to give them some good, local product that the customers are asking for,” said Highland Grow president Frank MacMaster.
Much like other cannabis retailers across the country, the NSLC has struggled with procuring product for its stores. Finance Minister Karen Casey said last week that Nova Scotia is getting only 35 to 40 per cent of the cannabis it needs to meet demand at government-run outlets.
Highland Grow employs 14 people at its 6,500-square-foot production facility in Ohio, Antigonish County, but has bigger plans in the works.
MacMaster said the company is working on a design for a 100,000-square-foot production facility that it hopes to begin building in the first half of 2019. He said the company will need to hire up to 80 people to staff that facility.
“That’s a big hiring in Antigonish County … It’s very exciting for me, but it’s also really exciting for the community,” said MacMaster.
He said the company is currently producing four strains of cannabis and could produce up to 626,000 grams a year, while the planned facility would be capable of producing 4.2 million grams a year.
Highland Grow is a subsidiary of Biome, a Canadian company that owns three other cannabis growing facilities.
MacMaster said Highland Grow began talking with the NSLC five months ago about carrying its products. He said the operation also plans to sell its products to the medical industry, as well as internationally.
He said selling abroad will be a must for the company’s survival.
“Right now, there’s a shortage of product, but with the number of people that are going to be licensed over the next two years, this shortage of product isn’t going to be there anymore,” he said.