A New Brunswick company established in November says it has submitted an application through Health Canada to start an outdoor cannabis farm in Bas-Cap-Pelé.
Marc LeBlanc, the president of Solargram Farms Corp., says the company hopes to “become a bulk cannabis oil provider.”
The planned outdoor grow-op would see cannabis plants at least one and a half feet tall transplanted into the field in late June.
“These clones are very important because of our climate,” LeBlanc says. “They need to get that extra lift to go to completion for the end of September.”
Solargram Farms plans to take a dive into the edible market, also expecting to establish an extraction facility in Moncton.
“We believe the cannabis consumer is definitely going to be pivoting towards these new types of developed products,” LeBlanc says.
He says former RCMP officers are involved in planning how to secure the outdoor grow-op based on federal regulations.
“We need eight-foot fencing, security cameras, we’ll have drone security, we’ll have 24/7 manned security.”
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Roughly 80 jobs are expected to be created between the Cap-Pelé farm and the Moncton extraction facility, LeBlanc says.
Community members seem to have a mixed response.
“I think it could be a good thing if it creates jobs — good jobs, paying jobs — because the community needs it,” says local resident Norbert Porelle. “I think we need jobs and work for the people around here.”
Some residents who spoke to Global News Thursday say they’re wondering what smells will be like with any wind in the area.
“It’s going to create jobs for sure,” says Phyllis Cormier. “I’m concerned about the smell (and) the traffic.”
Village council has signed a letter of support with the information they have, but there were two nay votes, according to councillor Eliza LeBlanc.
“I disagree on the plans of cannabis because I don’t think it’s a good visibility for the village,” she says. “I don’t think it’s something we should have in a small community.”
Serge Léger, the mayor of the village, says they’re waiting for more information on the project.
Meanwhile, LeBlanc says Solargram Farms is finalizing the land sale and will await approval from Health Canada, with hopes of starting production in summer of 2020.
“We’re just looking forward to getting going,” he says. “We’ve got a real cool thing going on here, and it’s going to be great for New Brunswick.”