Marijuana producer plans to double facility at Nanaimo’s Duke Point

NANAIMO – Tilray is applied to rezone properties for an expansion of its medical marijuana production facility.

A Nanaimo medical marijuana grow operation is planning a major expansion at Duke Point.

Tilray applied to rezone three Duke Point properties to expand its medical marijuana operation, including construction of a building more than double the size of its current facility. The application comes seven months after the company celebrated the official opening of its production facility in Nanaimo – a $15-million investment. Now Tilray is proposing to grow its facility with a five-storey building that spans more than 85,000 square feet.

No one from Tilray was available for an interview about the expansion, but an e-mail statement from a spokeswoman for the company, with Toronto-based EnergiPR, said in the short term, the property will house an employee cafeteria and break areas, maintenance and non-cannabis storage facilities and in the longer term, expansion of its production capacity is being considered.

Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan said he is pleased to see the company’s expansion, pointing out that it’s proven to be a good corporate citizen and a valuable and supportive commercial enterprise.

“We did have continued reports that Tilray had met or was exceeding the projections they had established when they first opened in Nanaimo,” Ruttan said.

“As they continue to grow and grow and grow and hire more and more people it became evident that at some point if they were going to continue their growth … that they would have to make some changes in the building and make additions there and that’s what they have done in order to accommodate them.”

Sasha Angus, chief executive officer of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation, said the amount of capital investment the company would be looking at for this project would be significant and more than the current investment already made.

Once complete there’s almost a guarantee of substantially more employment, he said. The company has now hired more than 100 employees.

The rezoning has passed first and second reading at a city council meeting Monday. A public hearing will be held Dec. 11.