Clarington: A Centre of Excellence in the Cannabis Industry

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Article below by the Clarington Board of Trade and Office of Economic Development

With a population fast approaching 100,000 and a growing community of over 5,000 businesses, Clarington offers what investors and companies desire: affordable serviced land, proximity to market and amenities, business support and a progressive, engaged community.

Eyes are on Clarington as the place to grow through new business, local expansion or redevelopment investments. Clarington is home to four of the top 100 largest infrastructure projects in Canada totalling over $14 Billion in investment and creating thousands of jobs. Projects underway are: Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington Nuclear refurbishment, Port Granby remediation project, Highway 407 east extension and GO Train extension to Clarington, creating two new stations.

2017 and 2018 has seen a steady increase of activity and interest from the cannabis industry. Clarington is currently home to three licenced producers (LP) employing over 150 people. Canopy Growth Corporation was the first LP, establishing themselves in the community five years ago. Looking to expand in the future, they will create a minimum of 30 more jobs in addition to their nearly 60 employees. Starseed Medicinal and MediWanna also call Clarington home. Four more companies including 3D Cana (facility currently under construction) and MedGreen Biologicals, plan to establish operations in Clarington within the next few years. It is anticipated this industry will represent over 800+ skilled jobs including those involved in research & development efforts and many more with the emergence into additional markets such as edibles and innovative applications surrounding medicinal use such as puffers, patches and soft gels.

Construction and rendering of the new 3D Cana facility

The business case for cannabis facilities choosing Clarington is justified by many factors, such as affordable industrial land, ease of access to major transportation networks such as highway 401, support from the Municipality of Clarington, CBOT and stakeholders in the Region of Durham.

At the beginning of 2018, CBOT hosted a roundtable discussion with several community partners. Invited were the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Durham College, Durham Workforce Authority, Municipality of Clarington as well as established and future medical cannabis Licensed Producers in Clarington.

Industry & partners, roundtable discussion at CBOT office

The discussion surrounded understanding industry needs, their challenges, bridging resources and building partnerships. While the stigma of the industry is declining due to outreach and education which raises the profile of the legitimacy of the industry, sourcing skills continues to be a challenge. With education, comes opportunity – Durham College in partnership with GrowWise Health Limited offer a cannabis industry specialization certificate that is the first of its kind in Ontario. A great opportunity to learn about the industry, market, regulations and employment opportunities.

“We look forward to continuing to support this rapidly-growing industry, understand their needs, goals, opportunities for supply chain and future market possibilities,” states Bonnie Wrightman, Manager of Business Development for the Clarington Board of Trade & Office of Economic Development. “With a strong agricultural sector in Clarington, existing talents, resources and skills, CBOT is starting to explore synergies and opportunities surrounding the industrial hemp industry.”

Cannabis businesses continue to cluster in Clarington. As the industry plays a role in enhancing Ontario’s economy through investment, innovation and job creation, Clarington is proud to be of support as they work alongside industry partners to build a centre of excellence in the cannabis industry in Ontario.

Bonnie Wrightman
Manager of Business Development
Clarington Board of Trade & Office of Economic Development
54 King St. E., Unit 102, Bowmanville, ON L1C 1N3