News / Halifax

Nova Scotia gets it first licensed medical marijuana producer

Breathing Green Solutions was granted a licence from Health Canada on Friday to produce pot at its Wentworth Valley facility.

Inside a growing pod at one of Health Canada's licensed producer's facilities near Creemore, Ontario.

Randy Risling / Toronto Star Staff

Inside a growing pod at one of Health Canada's licensed producer's facilities near Creemore, Ontario.

Nova Scotia has its first licensed medical marijuana producer.

Breathing Green Solutions Inc. was granted a licence to cultivate medical marijuana on Friday, according to Health Canada’s online list of authorized licensed producers under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).

The company is one of four recipients of licences granted across Canada on Friday, and is one of 73 companies now licensed to produce or sell medical marijuana nation-wide.

Breathing Green has no web presence whatsoever, and one of its four directors, Bill Sanford, told Metro that’s no accident.

“We’ve kind of flown under the radar purposely, so that we could go about our business and when we had something to sort of tell the public, we would do that. So far, that’s worked pretty well,” he said in an interview on Friday.

Sanford, whose background is in the oil and gas industry, most recently as the president of Bluewave Energy, said his company’s growing facility will be up and running sometime next week.

“It’s in the Wentworth Valley, up on a hill in a very protected compound. We have 35 acres of land there, and the production facility is approximately 35,000 square feet,” he said.

Asked how much pot that facility would produce annually, Sanford said he wasn’t sure yet.

“It’s a boutique operation, I would say, by Canadian standards, but by Maritime standards, it’s a significantly sized facility,” he said.

The licensing process took two years, Sanford said, but Breathing Green’s facility is coming online at an opportune time.

“Certainly by the time we have full production, the (recreational) market will be opening. So I guess the advantage is that, by the time we actually have product ready to sell, there will be a very significant market for that product,” Sanford said.

Breathing Green is the first Nova Scotia company to get a licence, but not the first to apply.

Documents obtained by Metro through freedom of information in the spring showed there were 12 Nova Scotia companies either under review, screening, or security clearance by Health Canada. Another 14 applications had been refused or withdrawn at that time.

Sanford doesn’t think the application process was taking any longer in Nova Scotia than anywhere else in the country.

“There was a lengthy waiting list,” Sanford said, “And what happened in the last number of months is Health Canada pushed to have people with facilities that are largely complete to get through the application process, recognizing we need more production facilities in the country producing legal product prior to the open market concept sometime next year.”

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