Fredericton interested in economic benefits of marijuana production, distribution

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Although nothing formal has been submitted, the City of Fredericton has been contacted by a large scale marijuana producer and council is keen on spinoffs for the area if they were to set up shop. Jeremy Keefe has the story – Jul 4, 2017

The City of Fredericton is warming up to the idea of a licensed marijuana producer setting up shop in the area after recently speaking with representatives although at this point nothing formal has been submitted.

“We’ll go through the zoning process, wherever they decide to purchase or renovate a piece of property,” explained Mike O’Brien, Mayor of Fredericton, who recently had a phone conversation with Canopy Growth Corp, an Ontario based producer. “It has to be properly zoned but our zoning bylaws allow for that type of operation.”

READ MORE: New Brunswick companies prepare for a future with legal marijuana

The New Brunswick government has been preparing for the impending legalization of recreational marijuana use and positioning itself to benefit from the growing industry.

Until now the capital city has remained devoid of such operations but the mayor thinks the location would be enticing to distributors thanks to it’s position along the Trans-Canada Highway.

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O’Brien says the economic spinoffs would be greatly welcomed by city officials.

“Anything that can enhance the job creation in the City of Fredericton we’d be interested in,” said O’Brien.

READ MORE: N.B. to set legal marijuana age at 19, sale through crown corporation

Moncton based Organigram has been ramping up their operations in advance of the coming legislation which is expected to make recreational marijuana use legal for adults by July 1, 2018.

The CEO of Organigram, Greg Engel, says expansion is crucial for all producers, who are already seeing more demand than ever before.

“All of the companies of significant size are ramping up in anticipation,” explained Engel. “We’re seeing growing demand in the medical market which has now surpassed 200,000 people and is growing roughly 10% month over month.”

Though they’re the only grower in the province, Engel is quick to assure that New Brunswick can handle at least two big players in the industry.

“There’s lots of opportunities for multiple companies in the space and we’ll continue to see existing companies expand like ourselves and like Canopy is doing into New Brunswick,” he said.