Cannabis production facility creates new job opportunities in Pictou County
A cannabis production facility in Pictou County is growing – and not just pot, it's adding more people.
There are just over 600 cannabis plants in one of the growing rooms at Zenabis in Stellarton, N.S.
There is another room just like it down the hall.
The 'ultra sour' plants are a sativa-dominant blend, and they're in the fifth week of their grow cycle.
When they're done, they'll produce just over 100 kilograms of dried marijuana flower.
Zenabis has space to expand and it wants to add four more growing rooms.
Curt Gunn, the director of facility operations for Zenabis, says they’re looking to fill several positions.
“Health and safety officers, compliance officers, facility administration, security,” Gunn said. “Also, from the production side of things, we're looking at production supervisors, line workers, sanitation, mill wright, shipping and receiving clerks.”
The Stellarton plant has posted 19 new jobs it hopes to fill this summer and, with legalization of edible pot products coming in the fall, that number may also grow.
For a town like Stellarton, it's a big opportunity.
“They're good-paying, full time, Monday-to-Friday type of jobs,” said Stellarton Mayor Danny MacGillivray. “They're the type of jobs you can raise a family and get a mortgage on, and that's really important in rural Nova Scotia. We're trying to retain young people, so these types of jobs are perfect for that.”
Many in town aren't worried about any potential pot stigma; they're just happy for the work.
“At a time when a lot of places are closing down and the environment is a big issue, we can move towards having jobs that aren't bothering people as far as the pollution,” said Denise Martin. “I think it's a great idea.”
Ken Johnson says it’s no different than having a brewery in town.
The available workforce is one reason Zenabis set up in Stellarton.
The company was also able to convert a warehouse and it's convenient being less than an hour and a half from the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
“What that allows our company to do for future growth, if we were to look overseas, it gives us a centre, a distribution hub potentially,” Gunn said.
Right now, the plant has a cultivation licence, so it can grow the plants.
It is still waiting on its production licence, which will allow it to package and distribute directly to stores.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.