Raissa Tetanish - Hub Now Evan Price stands in front of land awaiting construction of The Truro Herbal Company.

TRURO – The Truro Herbal Company (THC) is one step closer to being the first facility in the province licensed to grow medicinal marijuana.

Evan Price, the president of The THC, said the pad and earthwork has been completed for a while as they await a permit from the town to begin construction.

“We’re waiting on the license itself – we’re in the final review with Health Canada,” said Price, as he stood on Industrial Avenue in the Truro Business Park where the facility will be constructed. “Health Canada took our 22,000 pages down to four questions.”

Those four questions related to construction and security, and didn’t require a lengthy reply.

“Next is the growing license and to prepare the building.”

Lindsay’s Construction was awarded the contract to build the 20,000 square-foot facility, and as soon as the permit was available from the town, concrete would be poured. Price expected construction to finish in early 2018, with installation shortly thereafter. Growing will begin as soon as possible, with the first crop of medicinal marijuana available around February to April.

“How much we grow will depend on the Nova Scotia market and the Atlantic market, and the need for us,” he said.

The facility will see 24-foot ceilings and a vertical growth system, allowing them to use as much of the space from top to bottom as possible.

The company purchased 6.3 acres of land in the business park, from William Barnhill Drive and up to across from the Colchester SPCA. The facility will be built closer to William Barnhill, with the additional space for expansion if needed.

The facility will include administration offices and high-end security, as well as a lab.

“The lab is an interesting piece for us,” Price said. “There’s only one other facility that has a working lab and it will allow product and research development.”

He said they’re hoping to partner with the Dalhousie Medical School and Dalhousie Agricultural Campus in the future, and the lab will also allow for in-house quality assurance testing.

The growing license will allow between 3.1 and 15 million grams of marijuana annually, with the planned facility having room for three to five million. The license will also allow for importing and wholesaling to other producers.

It’s expected the business will employ anywhere between 30 to 50 people.