Medical Marijuana Industry a Boon for Nanaimo

At a time when municipalities across Canada were fighting to restrict industrial-scale medical marijuana producers, Nanaimo did the opposite and has concluded in a new report the business has been good for both workers and city coffers.

The Vancouver Island city began courting U.S.-based cannabis conglomerate Privateer Holdings in early 2013 as its Canadian subsidiary, Tilray, was aspiring to win a licence under the system the Conservative federal government would roll out a year later. Tilray first started selling its product in April last year and its facility now grows cannabis at roughly 90 per cent of its full capacity, and says it is mailing to about 4,000 clients, more than a third of whom reside in Ontario.

Now, a report by the city’s economic development corporation has found the venture is the city’s sixth-biggest employer and has paid $130,000 in property taxes during the first nine months of operation.

The report to be released Wednesday, commissioned by the city-owned Nanaimo Economic Development Corp. (NEDC), states that Tilray has 140 full-time workers. That is considerably less than cable company Shaw’s 400 employees and a pair of sawmills that employ several hundred people, but only 14 employees fewer than the No. 4 employer, grocery chain Sobeys.

– Read the entire article at The Globe and Mail.