MODG would welcome cannabis production

"We are open for business" – Warden Vernon Pitts

By Helen Murphy    

GUYSBOROUGH – Following the legalization of cannabis across Canada last week, producers and retailers are having trouble keeping up with demand. As some producers look to expand their operations and new production enterprises are considered, the Municipality of the District of Guysborough wants it known that the welcome mat is out.

“Our municipality is open for business, 24/7 – be it growing cannabis, making gravel out of big rocks, mining gold or exporting LNG – we are open for business,” Warden Vernon Pitts told media after the regular monthly council meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 17 – the day recreational cannabis became legal.

“It’s regulated, it’s legal and based on that scenario we are open for business.”

Growing cannabis on a large scale consumes significant amounts of electricity. But there may be attractive options in MODG for keeping those costs lower.

In an interview with The Journal in March 2018, Pieridae Energy’s CEO Alfred Sorensen said the planned Goldboro LNG project will produce an enormous amount of waste energy and efforts are being made to identify another use for it.

He said there will be enough waste heat to service another development in close proximity to the facility, such as an agriculture operation with greenhouses requiring lots of heat.

As well, in June MODG launched a project to collect and measure methane gas being produced at its Waste Management Facility. The initiative will allow MODG to measure the amount of methane reaching a flare, and consider options for the future use of the gas.

Gary Cleary, MODG’s director of waste management, told The Journal that power generation will be one of the first things they will look at.

Last week the warden also expressed concern that residents of MODG don’t have the same access to recreational cannabis through NSLC outlets, as is available in other communities. There are currently 12 NSLC outlets selling pot in the province, with the nearest to MODG being in Antigonish. That’s a 90-minute drive each way from Canso.

Pitts said he would be happy to see NSLC expand its sale of cannabis to MODG.

“It’s a service to our residents,” he said. “Our residents shouldn’t have a lesser service than anyone else in the province.”