Medical marijuana operation coming to Tiverton


By Barb McKay


A medical marijuana facility is expected to be up and running at the Bruce Energy Centre this fall.


The announcement that the company, AMMCan (Advanced Medical Marijuana Canada), is in the process of setting up shop in the vacant greenhouses at the BEC was made during last Thursday’s Penetangore Regional Economic Development Corporation (PREDC) meet and greet event at the Best Western Plus Governor’s Inn.


PREDC vice-president Robert Cottrill said this is great news for the Municipality of Kincardine.


“This is a great opportunity that will create 80 to 100 jobs,” he said. “They want this to happen, and so do we.”


Cottrill said a medical marijuana greenhouse operation is the first of its kind in Ontario. The majority of Canada’s medical marijuana was produced in the western part of the country, but with poor results, Cottrill said. AMMCan’s operation will be a test case for greenhouse growing to determine if it produces more consistent results.


“The medical marijuana industry is going to happen somewhere and it might as well be here,” he said.


AMMCan vice-president Sarah Herburger of Toronto was at the meet and greet event and said her father began growing medicinal marijuana for her and her mother to help combat symptoms of their medical conditions under the federal government’s old regulations. When the government changed its laws to only allow licensed producers to grow, Herburger’s father decided to apply. He began looking around for a location and contacted BEC president Helmut Sieber, who said he had just the facility. The 340,000 square foot greenhouse was originally used to grow tomatoes but has been sitting vacant for many years.


It took a year to go through the approval process, Herburger said, but AMMCan has received a pre-approval letter from Health Canada and hopes to be licensed by early fall, after construction is finished and the government inspects the facility.


Currently, AMMCan is in the process of cleaning up the site, completing engineering work and preparing for construction.


“It’s really exciting to see the workers there and things happening,” Herburger said.


AMMCan will have complete control over the entire process from growing the medical marijuana, to processing it, packaging it and shipping it, Herburger said. There are high standards for quality control and security.


“Security levels are as high as they would be with a narcotics facility,” she said.


The facility will get up and running in four phases. The company would like to hire locally as much as possible.


“By the time we are fully up and running, which could be several years from now, we’ll be producing up to 800 pounds per day,” said Aaron Ruimy, director of information technology for AMMCan.

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