Joe Wong at the filming of CBC’s Still Standing in April 2015.                                 Chris Gareau photo

Joe Wong at the filming of CBC’s Still Standing in April 2015. Chris Gareau photo

Telkwa marijuana plan almost complete

Woodmere Nursery negotiating with Maple Leaf Green World, which plans on building by end of year.

A Calgary company is moving forward with plans to grow medical marijuana out of a facility near Telkwa.

Maple Leaf Green World has submitted a building permit application to the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako to construct a new facility at Woodmere Nursery, just east of Telkwa.

Regional District of Bulkley Nechako Area A Director Mark Fisher said if someone wants to create a legal business, it isn’t a problem— if it fits the zoning bylaw.

“If it is a legal and legitimate business, there is nothing we can do at the regional district, nor should we. We don’t have the resources or the desire to micromanage everything,” he said. “As long as it fits in the general theme and if it’s in the zoning bylaw, it would fit into the general theme.”

Owner of Woodmere Nursery Joe Wong will spearhead the project and will be the chief grower. He started the nursery in 1985 and is an experienced horticulturist. Wong thinks growing medical marijuana at Woodmere is a good fit for the nursery and for Maple Leaf Green World.

“It is a business opportunity and Maple Leaf Green World is a company that wants to be the leading edge in medicinal marijuana growing,” said Wong.

“They have operations in California and they are looking at land in Nevada. They are fairly progressive. They have been dealing with international companies that provide knowledge and expertise so I think they have a progressive attitude and they believe in it [medical marijuana] and they have good operation managers that have the vision. And Woodmere can also provide some expertise in the growing side. It will also mean relearning some skills.”

Wong isn’t worried about security.

“Health Canada regulations require certain security obligations to be met so it is quite stringent and Maple Leaf Green will be following that,” he said.

Maple Leaf Green World hopes to have the new 30,000 square-foot facility built by the end of the year.

Maple Leaf Green World has also signed a letter of intent with Woodmere Nursery to lease 30 acres of land where the facility will be situated.

Some of the terms include a leasing fee of $20,000 a month or $240,000 a year beginning October 1, 2017 for 20 years with adjustments every five years based on the Consumer Price Index. Maple Leaf will have the option to purchase the 30 acres of land from Woodmere after one year at the prevailing market price or at a minimum of $500,000; and Maple Leaf will grant 500,000 share options at $0.55 to Woodmere for two years and the options will vest after one year.

A formal leasing agreement will soon be drafted by Woodmere’s legal counsel.