Nipissing First Nation is going to be home to a new cannabis manufacturing facility that hopes to bring more than 80 jobs to the area.
Golden Harvest Organics Inc. recently broke ground on a 30,000-square-foot building.
The land is owned by Natalie Payette-Chevrier.
"She will be the first female First Nation entrepreneur in the country to take on a project of this size and scope," Adam Allard, chief operating officer, told BayToday.
Cannabis will be grown on-site.
"It's a commercial manufacturing facility," said Allard. "It's all indoor."
The state-of-the-art facility will be one of the most secure in the region, second only to North Bay's North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
Mandatory security planning includes:
- eight-foot barbed-wire perimeter fencing with a detection system;
- background checks for all key personnel and every board director;
- finger scanner and key card access on every door in the facility; and
- a secure vault that safeguards all processed cannabis.
Job applications will be accepted later this summer and will be open to the general public.
"We have standard operating procedures that people will need to be familiar with, and background checks, there will be a whole process for that," explained Allard. "Some positions, obviously, will need special education but other positions not necessarily."
The vision, which began more than two years ago, was to be a leader in establishing one of the first Health Canada-regulated wholesale cannabis producers.
"Golden Harvest Organics (GHO) is a wholesale agent of medicinal and recreational cannabis for business-to-business transactions," said Allard.
"Like any Canadian production facility involving food, drug, and agriculture, GHO must follow all the rigorous compliance regulatory measures from Health Canada and Nipissing First Nation’s Cannabis Act."
It's great news for Nipissing First Nation.
“I am very happy to see this project breaking ground in our community," said Chief Scott McLeod.
"Natalie and Doug Chevrier, as proprietors of this business, continue to demonstrate what you can achieve through hard work, commitment and doing things the right way. They are leaders in entrepreneurship in Nipissing First Nation and I am proud to extend the council's support for this business."
“I’m so proud of our committed team and board of directors, who clearly see this vision and have not stopped working over these two years,” said Natalie Payette-Chevrier. “We’re able to bring more than 80 jobs to our community and build a sustainable business that will support the economic growth throughout this region.”
"We did community consultations," says Allard, "and we have support from the chief and council. We're really excited to see things develop at the rate that they are."
Golden Harvest Organics Inc. plans for production to begin in January 2021.
This story originally appeared on BayToday.ca.