Province reaches 20-year agreement with cannabis supplier in Burin

The former fish plant in Burin has extended its life by at least 20 more years, thanks to a new deal struck between the provincial government and private company Oceanic Releaf to supply cannabis for two decades.

The deal also includes two retail licences to operate a pair of storefronts in the province, with no upfront cost to taxpayers and remittances on taxes paid by the retail shops over the next 10 years.

Oceanic Releaf will use the 60,000-square-foot facility to produce 1,000 kilograms of cannabis in the first year after construction is completed in 2023, and 4,000 kilograms each year after that.

The company’s CEO, Taylor Giovannini, said they are close to finishing the first phase of the fish plant retrofit, with about 15,000 square feet completed.

“We’d love to serve the Burin Peninsula. Our whole goal was to employ as many people down here as possible,” Giovannini told CBC Radio’s On The Go.

All together, the project is expected to employ 76 people in direct, indirect and induced jobs. The province hopes it will add $24.6 million to the provincial gross domestic product and $3.2 million in wages annually.

While the full scope of construction won’t be completed until 2023, the company hopes to produce cannabis by next spring. 

Giovannini said the company is in talks with the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation. The first storefront is still to be determined, but she said the first shop could be on the Burin Peninsula, where she is from….

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