Of­fi­cials see op­por­tu­nity in cannabis le­gal­iza­tion

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Front page - Jonathan.par­sons@thep­acket.ca Twit­ter: @je­j­par­sons

will take ad­van­tage of, while oth­ers may not.

“Some of us at the Town of Bonavista feel that there’s cer­tainly an op­por­tu­nity for us and for the re­gion … that’s go­ing to have a pos­i­tive ef­fect,” Nor­man told The Packet.

Nor­man says the town re­cently approved an ap­pli­ca­tion for a dis­pen­sary site in the com­mu­nity via a spe­cial meet­ing of coun­cil in Septem­ber. The vote was 4-3 in favour of al­low­ing the cannabis re­tail lo­ca­tion to set up shop in the town.

How­ever, Nor­man notes, the planned lo­ca­tion on Church Street didn’t work out due to chal­lenges with the real es­tate. He says the busi­ness is look­ing to reap­ply for a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion.

“The ma­jor­ity of coun­cil sup­ported the fact it would bring eco­nomic growth to the area; it’s a new busi­ness, it’s added tax base and em­ploy­ment,” he said. “In the opin­ion of some, and it would be my sin­gle opin­ion as mayor — I wouldn’t be able to say if it’s the opin­ion of coun­cil or not — le­gal­iza­tion cre­ates bet­ter op­por­tu­nity to ac­tu­ally con­trol (cannabis) and ed­u­cate the pub­lic on its use as well.”

He adds that while he expects there will be chal­lenges with the tran­si­tion, the change prob­a­bly won’t be a ma­jor one.

Grow oper­a­tion

While some towns in the re­gion like Bonavista and Clarenville will have re­tail out­lets for the pur­chase of cannabis in their com­mu­ni­ties, the grow­ing of cannabis may bring a big­ger eco­nomic boost to the Town of Trin­ity Bay North.

A com­pany called “Cheeba Bros.” aims to set up a full-scale grow oper­a­tion in Port Union, us­ing a build­ing that was once a fish plant.

The li­cence for that growop has not yet been approved by Health Canada. And no one from the com­pany was avail­able to speak with The Packet for an up­date.

How­ever, in in­ter­views ear­lier this year, busi­ness­man Daniel Porter has said he hopes to em­ploy up­wards of 70-80 peo­ple at the plant, as well as hint­ing at lofty prom­ises con­cern­ing wages and work avail­abil­ity.

Work to ren­o­vate the for­mer fish plant is cur­rently on­go­ing.

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