New Brunswick’s Economic Growth Plan has identified cannabis as one of several strategic opportunities to strengthen this province’s economic growth. Opportunities NB (ONB) has made cannabis a priority, ensuring the most successful and innovative cannabis companies recognize New Brunswick as a global leader in their sector and join the province’s growing ecosystem.

June saw Saint John, New Brunswick host the most influential policy shapers and decision-makers in the cannabis industry at the inaugural World Cannabis Congress (WCC). Today, building on the momentum generated by the WCC, ONB is excited to announce that Canopy Growth Corporation, the leading cannabis company (by revenue) in North America, has chosen New Brunswick for its latest expansion effort.

Canopy Growth Corporation

Canopy Growth began producing cannabis in 2013 for the medicinal market under a license from Health Canada. The company, headquartered in Smiths Falls, Ontario, supplies 69,000 registered medical patients with medicinal cannabis. It now owns growing and/or cultivation facilities either operational or under construction in seven provinces.

Dana Clendenning, Canopy’s Director of Government and Stakeholder Relations (Atlantic Region), says Canada’s upcoming adult-use retail market will drive more growth for the company this year, hence the need for a new facility.

Fredericton to See New Jobs and Investment

Canopy is expected to spend $39.9 million on the construction of its new production facility in Fredericton. The company estimates that 136 full-time positions will be created over six years of operation.

“We will be recruiting management and administrative staff, quality assurance and compliance people, lab technicians, growers, harvesters, maintenance, as well as shipping and fulfilment personnel,” notes Clendenning. “We also hope to have a boutique store onsite at some point. We like the idea of offering facility tours with the retail boutique as part of the experience, much like a brewery. We would love the facility to become a tourist attraction.”

To support the creation of these jobs, Canopy Growth is eligible for an investment of up to $1.3 million from ONB in the form of a payroll rebate over the next six years.

The Road to New Brunswick

Clendenning says the province of New Brunswick’s proactive approach to the cannabis sector helped bring Canopy Growth to Fredericton.

“ONB’s Stephen Lund and Steve Milbury were in Ontario to meet with our CEO and Co-Founder Bruce Linton a couple of years back just as the province was identifying cannabis as a key growth area. That was the first seed; it put New Brunswick on our radar. We then noted the very positive messages coming from Premier Gallant and the government’s progressive approach to the industry. Finally, Mr. Linton had a chance to meet ANBL President and CEO Brian Harriman at a conference, and get his insights on doing business in New Brunswick. All of those factors combined to impress our senior management team, leading us to begin seriously looking at New Brunswick for growth.”

What’s Next?

ONB Workforce Strategists will work with Canopy Growth on its recruitment efforts once the company is ready to begin that process. The company also has its eyes on markets outside of North America.

“We’re not only looking at the Canadian market, we have an international focus as well,” says Clendenning. “Wherever there is a process in place to establish ourselves in a legalized medical or recreational cannabis market, we plan to be there.”

New Brunswick is ready for October 17 and the legalization of adult-use retail cannabis in Canada. Visit our Cannabis page to learn more about ONB’s work in that sector and connect with our team.

Written by Jason Boies

Cover image: Flickr