New deal highlights NB government's commitment to take full advantage of the economic opportunities offered by the cannabis industry with licensed, local producers. Village of Atholville, NB to get 450 new jobs over the next two years. First Nations community investment pays off.
ATHOLVILLE, NB, Nov, 20, 2017 /CNW/ - In the largest deal of its kind, the government of New Brunswick today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Zenabis for the safe and secure supply of cannabis and cannabis derivatives for the province's recreational marijuana users.
Under this Agreement, Zenabis will be providing four million grams of cannabis and derivative products to New Brunswick – the retail value of which is between $40-50 million.
Today's announcement will also create, over the next two years, about 450 new jobs in the village of Atholville, New Brunswick, which is home to Zenabis' 393,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility for the production and distribution of pharmaceutical-grade medical marijuana.
In addition to the Athloville facility, Zenabis holds a second 30,000 sq.ft Production License in Delta, B.C and is in the late stages of securing a third license for a 280,000 sq.ft facility in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Combined, these three facilities make Zenabis the only coast to coast Licensed Producer in the country – let alone one of the largest.
"Provincial governments have been seeking Licensed Producers that can supply reliable, high-quality cannabis and cannabis derivatives to meet demand once full legalization is in place," stated Zenabis CEO, Kevin Coft.
"We are pleased to have concluded this historic agreement with the New Brunswick government and we anticipate that we will be able to negotiate similar agreements with other provinces," said Coft.
"As we enter this new retail market, we need to ensure there is a safe and secure supply of recreational-use cannabis," said New Brunswick Labour, Employment and Population Growth Minister Gilles Lepage. "I am pleased we were able to enter into this agreement with a licensed producer located right here in New Brunswick to help meet our needs."
According to Health Canada, about 200,000 clients were registered nationally to receive medical marijuana in the first quarter of this year. About 6,000 of them reside in New Brunswick.
Mackie Research Capital recently pegged total demand for marijuana in 2018 at approximately 795,000 kilograms but forecast that licensed producers will end 2017 with production capacity of a little over 100,000 kilograms annually.
"If demand continues to outstrip supply, there will be higher consumer costs and a strong 'black market', two outcomes that Ottawa considers unequivocally to be undesirable," said Derek Ogden, the former Director General of the RCMP's Drugs and Organized Crime branch.
"Today's agreement with Zenabis and two other previous supply agreements position New Brunswick as the only province in Canada to have enough supply to meet demand," said Ogden, a 27-year veteran Mountie, adding, "it is essential that consumers have access to safe and tested cannabis to move away from an illegal underground market."
New Brunswick's leadership in cannabis is also attracting some of the greatest pharmaceutical minds, researchers, investors, inventors and entrepreneurs, said Coft.
On August 23, 2016, The Provincial Government of New Brunswick announced that it would provide a $4 million loan to Zenabis for the construction of its New Brunswick facility. A week later, the local First Nations Government announced a further $3 million investment.
"This opportunity will not only provide a financial return, but more importantly – a partnership built from meaningful conversations, a vision for the future within the sector, and a lasting, mutual, beneficial, business relationship," said Chief Darcy Gray of Listuguj Mi'gmaq Government.
Zenabis today is the only company in Canada to have received direct investments from both the Provincial and First Nations Governments and this MOU represents a significant return on investment for all parties involved, added Coft.
About Zenabis Zenabis is a brand of International Herbs Medical Marijuana Ltd (IHMML), created by Canada's largest herb grower/importer, International Herbs (IHL), founded in 1990 with over seventeen years of experience in the industry. More information at Zenabis.com
For further information: Principal Media Contacts: Kevin Coft, CEO of IHMML, [email protected], Zenabis.com; May Nazair (English/French), Business and Communications Manager, Zenabis, Atholville, New Brunswick, 506-753-5070; Sarah Bustard, Government of New Brunswick, (506) 444-5026, [email protected]