Highland Grow becomes region’s first cannabis producer

    Photo by Drake Lowthers -- Frank MacMaster, president and master grower at Highland Grow Inc. in Ohio East, Antigonish County, tends to his cannabis plants that have recently entered their flowering stage.

    OHIO: Antigonish County is now on the map within Canada’s newest industry.

    Highland Grow Inc., nestled in picturesque Ohio East, has been approved for a license to sell cannabis via an amendment to its existing license from Health Canada, under the Cannabis Act.

    The authorization will allow Highland Grow, Nova Scotia’s second licensed producer, to sell their products to consumers through appropriate medical and recreational cannabis channels.

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    “It’s been a long road, we’re now only the second company in Nova Scotia with a full license to sell and Biome now has a fully-licensed facility up and running in Nova Scotia,” Frank MacMaster, president and head grower at Highland Grow said in a phone interview Monday morning. “We’ve been working on an agreement with the NSLC on supply for about six-months now and have been in close contact with them on a weekly basis.”

    He said they were in the process of finalizing an order with the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) and expects to be shipping an order out later this week.

    Bev Ware, a spokesperson for the NSLC told The Reporter Monday afternoon, they were in the process of negotiating a process order from Highland Grow.

    “So in essence, we’re in the process of setting them up as vendors,” she said. “So we expect to list four strains that they have to offer, as soon as they have them available.”

    Highland Grow’s four inaugural strains prepared for immediate sale are the indica-sativa hybrids; All Kush, Sensi Star, White Russian, and their premiere strain Ice Cream. MacMaster said consumers should expect to see Highland Grow products in the stores by the beginning of next week.

    “I know there is a shortage of it, so it’ll be hitting shelves as quickly as possible,” he said. “Hopefully all the people in Nova Scotia will go out and support the local company, which will allow to create more jobs in Nova Scotia.”

    Ware echoed finance minister Karen Casey’s call that Nova Scotia is only receiving 35 to 40 per cent of the cannabis it needs and the NSLC has been experiencing shortages of inventory, so the fact they’re able to introduce a new licensed producer, particularly a Nova Scotian one, makes a big difference.

    Operating at full capacity, Highland Grow can produce approximately 700,000 grams of cannabis per year, which would equivalate to over 4.2 million grams once their planned 100,000 square foot facility is built.

    “We’re hoping that we’re able to strike a contract through the NSLC to supply product moving forward,” MacMaster said. “Biome already has one of the largest contracts in Atlantic Canada with the Newfoundland government, so we’re hoping that we’re able to get a contract through the Nova Scotia government and the NSLC.”

    Highland Grow is a subsidiary of Biome, a Canadian company that owns three other cannabis production facilities; Great Lakes Cannabis in Ontario, The Back Home Medical Cannabis Corporation in Newfoundland, and Red Sands Craft Cannabis in Prince Edward Island.