The old Hershey chocolate factory in Smiths Falls is back in the chocolate game following its closure nearly two decades ago, but you wont spot any Hershey Kisses or Oh Henry bars on the line because the factory is now making cannabis-infused sweet and salty treats.
“I put myself in the factory and I close my eyes and I can somehow feel that the chocolate Gods are happy,” said Drew Gilmour, the co-owner of Hummingbird Chocolate.
Gilmour partnered with Canopy Growth and Tweed to make edibles in the old manufacturing facility where Hershey first opened in the 1960s. The cannabis-infused products are expected to be on store shelves by Christmas.
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“We’re producing some high quality stuff. It’s just honouring the people and folks that have come before us,” added Gilmour.
Canopy Growth allowed Global News to have a sneak peek inside the facility where they’re not just making sweets, but cannabis-infused drinks and oil concentrates. The company has been planning for the addition of more products for the last three years, building a state-of-the-art bottling, packaging and distribution facility across the road from its headquarters at 1 Hershey Dr.
“We’ve had ample time to get ready, we’re very confident in our supply chain and as you’ve seen today on the tour there’s a great amount of automation built into this which means we’ll have reliable product moving forward,” explained Rade Kovacevic, the president of Canopy Growth.
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“Between us, the federal government, the retailers, the provinces, you know everybody has been preparing for this and hopefully we’ll see that successful roll out later this year.”
The new line of drinks will be comparable in cost to a can of craft beer and range in THC content to about two millimetres per drink, again similar to a singular alcoholic beverage.
Also, the company touted the fact its product will not leave you feeling groggy in the morning.
“They’re low in calories generally — less than five calories in each of the drinks — to ensure that you know it leads to a happy liver unlike beverage alcohol,” said Mark Zekulin, CEO of Canopy Growth.
“There’s no hangover and we think that’s a great value proposition that will get customers to come over.”
Canopy Growth said it doesn’t have a price point for its chocolate edibles right now, but it should be unveiled in November.
The cannabis company is also the largest employer in Smiths Falls, a town of under 9,000. More than 1,000 people are employed there since it opened its doors in 2014.
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