It’s on track to become the largest medical marijuana production plant in the world. And it’s in the middle of Niagara-on-the-Lake. It received approval today to go ahead with a tenfold expansion.
Inside the Tweed Farms greenhouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake they’ve already harvested one crop of medical marijuana and they’re just beginning to grow another.
The greenhouse is huge — 350 thousand square feet. Right now, Tweed is only using ten per cent of it. But by next summer more than 120 thousand plants will be growing in here, producing 18 million grams of marijuana a year.
Angus Footman, President Tweed Farms: “Under the new regulations, all of our product is deliver by direct mail, by courier, no retail sales on site. We don’t permit any visitors on the site.”
This operation will employ up to 80 people. Tweed says it came to Niagara-on-the-Lake because it was welcomed here.
Angus Footman: “Niagara-on-the-Lake is a very forward thinking, supportive community for business and very supportive for agriculture, as we can see by the success of the wine industry.”
With doctors being allowed more discretion to prescribe, they estimate in ten years, there will be up 450 thousand medical users.
Investors see a lot of money in marijuana.
Right now, Health Canada has approved about a dozen applications for medical marijuana growers. But hundreds more are seeking applications.
The owners of the old Redpath sugar plant in Niagara Falls want to become a medical marijuana grower. Neighbours had no idea what the posted zoning change application meant.
Niagara Falls Councillor Carolynn Ioannoni “Never in their life did they believe the city would approve a grow-op for medical marijuana adjacent to a residential area. I never thought we would do that. But that’s exactly what happened.
The owners of the old Kimberly Clark building want to become a marijuana grow-op too. Each permit application talks about growing trees, shrubs and plants, nothing about marijuana.
Councillor Ioannoni: “That’s what should have been there. Because it fits under nursery, this is the vague, broad, deceptive sign that they get.”