A B.C. based medical cannabis company has chosen Trochu as its next place to set up shop.
Kannaba Agritech Corp of Vancouver, B.C., has made the decision to invest in the town of just over 1,000 people.
An open house held on Oct. 4 in Trochu had three out of five executives of the company come and discuss the details of the facility with residents.
Approximately 115 people were in attendance with a mostly mutual approval of the project as it has a large potential for economic growth.
“There were lots of great questions asked and answered,” said Trochu Mayor Barry Kletke.
Trochu was a viable candidate compared to other centres such as Carbon, Beiseker, Mountain View County, or Kelowna because they already had land zoned for discretionary use.
“They chose Trochu because they could move it along faster than they could with other areas,” said Kletke.
It is expected that approximately 50 local job positions will be created within the first year and will move up to 750 jobs once the facility is fully functional.
“In year four when they are completely ramped up, they are looking at another 50 acres which will mean 750 more jobs,” said Kletke.
The proposed site will be located on the east end of town near the elevator and train tracks, behind the meat processing plant as that land is properly zoned.
The company is unsure if they will pursue an entirely new building or buy one that already exists nearby.
Initial estimates have the building at about 50,000 square feet of space, one job per thousand square feet for the first year.
There are also plans to possibly grow the facility from 50,000 square feet to 750,000 within three or four years of operation.
“The community itself is totally prepared for it,” Kletke continued.
The company must first go through the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board as part of the government process to acquire a development permit.
If Kannaba Agritech Corp is not able to get the existing building before winter strikes, they want to start putting shovels in the ground before the new year.
“They are hoping to get in ASAP so hopefully in November here if they can secure their building or get the building that’s existing, they want to be in right away. They want to be up and running by the end of January,” said Kletke.
Security measures will be tight. An eight-foot-high fence with barbed wire will be stationed around the perimeter as well as security cameras covering inside and out, unauthorized access sensors, one access gate with keypad entry, and fingerprint scanner among other measures.
The town should see a large economic boost once the facility is in place as Kannaba intends to make itself a part of the community by forming long-term partnerships with local suppliers, as well as with the community itself by taking an active role in social and educational programs.
“I’ve been on council since 2002 and this is probably the first time that I have really got excited about potential growth within the community.
“I think the whole community is excited for it. It’s going to be a good boost for us and the other thing is that there is going to be a bunch of good, well-paying jobs too,” concluded the Mayor.
Local labour will be used throughout the process from the initial stages of getting the land ready for construction, engineering, design, to the cultivation, maintenance, upkeep, harvesting of the crops, the construction of a laboratory and extraction facility, and the processing of the crop.
Jobs created by partnerships will produce a positive impact on local taxation revenues through the employees’ income taxes. It is reasonable to assume that a considerable percentage of those new jobs will be filled by people currently unemployed.
The Canadian medical marijuana market is expected to reach $380 million by the end of 2018 according to a CIBC World Markets report.