Company aims to apply for permit once rules change

Ottawa phasing out individual licences for medical marijuana users to grow pot

At least one company is looking into starting up a medical marijuana grow facility in Mission because of its “reasonably priced” real estate.

Vancouver’s Leaf Cross Biomedical is lining itself up in preparation for the federal government’s new rules to the program to grow medical marijuana. Representatives from the company have been making the rounds and letting councils know their intentions. The company received lukewarm reaction from Mission politicians when its president and CEO Brant Little presented the concept last month.

Little, who has been an investment banker for more than 30 years, said he saw this as a business opportunity, and a chance to provide employment and help people who are suffering from chronic pain.

We have a number of parties looking into and negotiating the acquisition of 10 to 20 acres of agricultural land, said Little, who plans to expand the operation, if possible. He said the new regulations are expected to be out by June 21 at which time his company will apply for a permit. He expects a response will take up to 90 days.

Ottawa announced in January it will phase out individual licenses for medical marijuana users to grow pot in their own homes, and instead have all medical pot grown and distributed by highly regulated, secure commercial operators.

The new system is expected to be launched by April 2014.

– with files from Jeff Nagel