Medical marijuana facility to open in BioCommons

Ryan Ross
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Marijuana clone plants that are used to grow medical marijuana are displayed under a light in this Canadian Press file photo.

The P.E.I. BioCommons will soon get a new tenant after a local business owner confirmed plans to open a medical marijuana production facility in Charlottetown.

Edwin Jewell, owner of Jewell's Country Market in York, confirmed Monday he is one of 10 investors in the new operation that he hopes will be inspected and running by the fall.

Jewell said he was interested in the business because at the heart of the operation, it was about growing plants, which is something he has been doing for most of his life, and providing an alternative to some medications.

"To be involved in something that is so new and can help people in that way it's pretty exciting," he said.

Starting in April, Canadians who use medical marijuana won't be able to grow it themselves or buy it from Health Canada.

Instead they will have to register with a licensed producer.

As of Monday, Health Canada listed 10 licensed producers on its website.

Last month Charlottetown city council voted in favour of changing its zoning and development bylaw to add the definition for "medical marijuana production facility".

The new facility will operate under the name Canada's Island Garden Inc. and start by employing about 15 people in a 14,000 square foot space in the BioCommons.

He said the facility will take about $4 million to get up and running.

The process to get a licence is rigorous including Health Canada wanting security clearances for people who will be on site and asking the company to submit a security plan, Jewell said.

"They want a lot of information."

Compared to his other business ventures, Jewell said there is a lot of bureaucracy to deal with, although he added Health Canada has been very good to deal with.

"There's a steep learning curve."

Jewell said one of the challenges with starting a medical marijuana facility was that he couldn't just walk into one to see how it works.

"We had to figure a lot of this out on my own," he said.

As for public reaction to the opening of the facility, Jewell said he has been monitoring it closely and he doesn't think it will be that controversial because medical marijuana is becoming more widely used.

"It truly helps people and it's pretty hard for people to argue with that," he said.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Health Canada, Charlottetown city council, Island Garden

Geographic location: Country Market, York, Canada

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Recent comments

  • happy
    March 12, 2014 - 09:04

    I'm actually very happy that canada and our tiny island is approving of medical marijuana. it does help, everyone just puts up they're nose because it is a drug but so is a painkiller and so is alcohol. this will help people feel better if they need it, of course anything sold would be extremely over priced most likely doubled the price of it on the streets but a lot of people will go this way instead of growing or buying from the streets because its secure.

  • To The Complainers
    March 11, 2014 - 11:38

    Nobody say's you have to buy it. Grow your own. But don't deny if to those who truly need it.

  • Hawkeye
    March 11, 2014 - 09:40

    MMMM ,Wonder how much Federal / Provincial $$$$$$$ is being pumped into this one ?? Wonder who the investors support in the elections ?? Wonder what the profit will be ?? So the poor person who needs the pot for medical purposes will pay through the nose to profit a fews political hacks.. MMM

  • Garth Staples
    March 11, 2014 - 07:00

    Comments please from MPs Casey, Easter, McAulay, Senators Downe, Callbeck, Hubley; Premier Ghiz, Minister Roach. Will they tell Islanders how rotten the Federal Govt is for creating jobs on PEI?

  • unreal
    March 10, 2014 - 23:22

    This is wise. That's exactly what the island needs.. note the sarcasm is high here. Unreal amount of pure idocracy happening.

  • Boy O Boy
    March 10, 2014 - 18:03

    Some step ahead , we have really stepped ahead in this province selling our soul for the almighty dollar .We got rid of the moonshiners , has that reduced problem drinking ? now the pot growers for one larger that because of profit will force the ones that need it for medical reasons to become criminal's as they won't be able to afford it . PEI is sure going to the dog's . Shame-Shame on us as a caring people . No wonder our young people are growing up respecting very little , themselves included .