An abandoned factory once owned by Hershey in Canada may soon be making products that offer a bigger buzz than a chocolate kiss: marijuana, under licence by the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Bruce Linton, the chairman of Tweed, one of 185 companies seeking a permit to start producing pot next year, said finding a location was one of his biggest obstacles because landlords shunned even sanctioned drug production.
“Five years ago your parents would have disowned you if you thought about doing this,” Linton said. “It’s like saying ‘poop’ when you are nine or something. Marijuana is like that for adults because it’s a taboo.”
In June Canada’s Health Department said it would end a system allowing people to grow medicinal pot at home and instead have companies supply the drug.
Home-grown pot had led to “unintended consequences” that hurt public safety and led to people abusing the system, the department said in June. The new system regulates marijuana like other narcotics, according to a background paper that says commercial producers must meet strict requirements to be licensed.
Medical doctors object to the new system, saying there are no standardised dosages or rules to make marijuana safe to prescribe like other drugs.
Many Canadians are deciding marijuana is good medicine, with more than 30 000 people now having medical licences. – Bloomberg