MORRISBURG – Fifteen to 60 jobs in the Cannabis extraction field may be coming to South Dundas via a new Cannabis company that purchased four acres of land in the Morrisburg Industrial Park. South Dundas council approved the sale, valued at about $100,000, at the August 13th council meeting.
The land was purchased by ASK Estates Inc. However South Dundas officials were tight-lipped about what Cannabis company will set up shop here.
“I will let them tell their story this fall,” South Dundas Economic Development Officer Rob Hunter told The Leader after the council meeting. Hunter did confirm the Cannabis company is an Ontario-based firm.
Hunter explained that once constructed and licenced by Health Canada, the 50,000 square foot facility will employ 15 staff in its first year, expanding to 60 by the time the facility is built-out.
“These jobs are really good paying jobs,” Hunter told council. “People working in Cannabis extraction can make up to $100,000 per year.”
“The demonstration of Smiths Falls shows what can happen,” said mayor Steven Byvelds. “It’s what we all want to see here in that industrial park.”
“You can’t ignore the impact of these types of jobs on a small town,” said deputy-mayor Kirsten Gardner.
Officials with the yet-unnamed-company travelled to South Dundas in March 2019 to visit the community and review the property. Since then municipal staff have been working to finalize the purchase.
Cannabis production has increased in Canada since its legalization nearly one year ago. Companies including Tilray, Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis, and Prohibition Partners have all announced expansion plans in facilities in Canada.
The market for Cannabis will expand in October 2019 when edible Cannabis products will be legal to sell.
Hunter said the timeline for the Morrisburg facility going into operation is dependent on Health Canada licencing. The agency changed the licencing application process in May 2019 to favour companies that already have constructed a Cannabis production facility. That means that the unnamed company will have to build the facility before applying for a licence.
The land sale is the largest in the industrial park since the park was expanded five years ago. Byvelds asked if the funds from the sale of the land to ASK Estates could be directed towards paying down the $1.1 million loan for the Campbell Street expansion, which staff said could be directed at budget time.