The Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government’s $3 million investment in International Herbs Medical Marijuana Ltd. – which owns Zenabis in Atholville NB – was officially announced on Aug. 30 at a press conference at the LMG.
“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 at the event.
“We know we make a significant contribution in the local economy, and are key contributors. Together, working in respectful business relationships, we can strengthen this region.”
Kevin Coft, CEO of International Herbs Medical Marijuana Ltd, said the plan is to have the facility producing by early 2017. In the meantime construction needs to be complete, and staff needs to be trained.
“The most critical thing for zenabis is to have trained people, who understand the legislation, and once they understand that legislation, there’s going to be many job opportunities,” said Coft.
“We are having training programs with the Listuguj education department, and training programs with – we’re in talks with – the New Brunswick government.”
Chief Gray said community members will be notified of all training opportunities.
“It comes down to the training and qualifications,” he said. “We’re going to be focusing on making sure that we get community members trained, up to speed, and get the qualifications that they’re going to need to go and work and take advantage of those opportunities.”
Coft has previously stated that the facility will be the largest indoor producer of medical marijuana in the country, and the investment by the LMG follows a week after the New Brunswick Provincial government’s announcement of a $4 million investment.
The investment from the LMG will be made in the form of a convertible debenture.
“A convertible debenture is issued at a later time, in stocks. And that will be something that we will be considering in the future,” said Coft. “So it’s an interest, and a stock position.”
The LMG stated in a press release that this investment is part of its long-term economic view – to work with neighbors and strengthen the region with economic development.
“One of the things that we have noticed is that the Listuguj Government is very proactive in this area – to try and see how they can benefit the economy,” said Coft. “This loan from the Listuguj Government is really a strategy. A long-term strategic strategy that the government has, in order to provide more jobs, more opportunity.”