Politicians and their pets joined True Leaf officials in celebrating the ground-breaking of a business that is expected to bring more than 100 jobs to Lumby.
The North Okanagan based production company kicked off the first phase of construction of a 16,000 square foot hydroponic grow building and a 9,000 square foot building that will house laboratory services, extraction and post-production processing, at a celebration held at the Lumby site Friday afternoon.
Speaking to a crowd of 100 community members and officials gathered to mark the occasion, Mayor Kevin Acton gave True Leaf his full support, saying not only was the 25,000 square foot medicinal cannabis grow facility going to be an economic asset to the community, it was a bit of a political anomaly.
“This is the first time I can remember something not being protested. The community really seems to support this.”
In turn, he felt True Leaf has returned the favour.
“They’ve really engaged council and the city of Lumby,” Acton told the crowd.
“This entire town has been built on the back of timber logging, but as the industry changed and mills started to consolidate, we started to see more mills disappear and it really struck Lumby’s economy hard — it really affects a community’s tax base.”
In a town of approximately 1,800 people, Acton said businesses, like True Leaf, that will contribute to the tax base and build an economy that can withstand diversification, will go a long way to supporting the community.
According to Darcy Bomford, founder and CEO of True Leaf, the project is expected to employ approximately 150 workers during construction and create 35 full and part-time jobs at the start of operations.
“Today is just the beginning,” Bomford said.
“With 40 acres of land, we have positioned True Leaf for growth and to potentially become one of the largest medicinal cannabis facilities in British Columbia. We are proud to make this investment today in Lumby, a community that has embraced True Leaf since the beginning.”
Construction is expected to be completed in summer 2018, with a first crop produced in the fall.