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Expansion of P.E.I.-based cannabis producer could create up to 200 jobs

Edwin Jewell, president of Canada’s Island Garden, stands in front of the company’s $35-million expansion project on Friday in the BioCommons Research Park.
Edwin Jewell, president of Canada’s Island Garden, stands in front of the company’s $35-million expansion project on Friday in the BioCommons Research Park. - Terrence McEachern

A P.E.I.-based medical and recreational cannabis producer and supplier is expecting to hire between 100 and 200 people once a $35-million expansion project is complete.

“It’s very rewarding for me to think we started out as a small company, an idea, that has 20 jobs today and could have as many as 10 times as many employees two years from now,” said Edwin Jewell, president of Canada’s Island Garden, at Friday’s announcement at the company’s Charlottetown facility in the BioCommons Research Park.

“So, to go from a small company to a large company in four years and create that kind of growth is pretty impressive and very pleasing to me.”

Also attending and speaking at the announcement were Premier Wade MacLauchlan and Charlottetown mayor Clifford Lee.

Related: P.E.I. marijuana business expects jobs, production to blossom after purchase

Jewell made another major announcement, that in the fall, the company is going to be rebranded as FIGR East for adult recreational cannabis products once legal. He explained the brand represents the family’s background in agriculture and the scientific rigour that goes into cannabis production.

“It’s very rewarding for me to think we started out as a small company, an idea, that has 20 jobs today and could have as many as 10 times as many employees two years from now.”
-Edwin Jewell

According to a press release, medical cannabis sales will remain under the Canada’s Island Garden brand

Jewell explained the expansion project has two phases. Phase one involves a 166,000 square-foot greenhouse and a 54,000 square-foot warehouse and processing area. This phase of the project is already underway and is expected to be completed next year with cannabis produced in August 2019.

Phase two involves an additional 90,000 square-foot greenhouse for growing cannabis.

Related: ‘Don’t tax medicine’ - P.E.I. group joins call against tax on medical cannabis

The overall expansion project is expected to be completed by 2020. Once completed, the company expects to produce between 25,000 and 35,000 kilograms of cannabis a year, which will allow the company to supply cannabis nationally and internationally, said Jewell.

Currently, the facility is capable of producing 1,200 kilograms a year.

The warehouse will provide space for trimming, drying, packaging, oil extraction, propagation of cuttings, storage of the final product and FIGR’s administrative offices.  

Canada’s Island Garden is one of three companies contracted to supply P.E.I. with recreational cannabis.

In February, it was announced that Canadian Cultivated Products, a subsidiary of the U.S.-based Alliance One International Inc., acquired majority stakes in Canada’s Island Garden, the business founded by Jewell.

Canadian Cultivated Products is also going to be rebranded to FIGR Cannabis.

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