Marijuana production deal for former Chesterville Nestle plant

In this July 2015, file photo, the Nestle Canada plant in Chesterville, Ont. sits vacant. The owner of the property, IDP Group, is signing a deal to grow marijuana, which could create up to 200 jobs. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CHESTERVILLE – The owner of the former Nestle Canada plant is signing a deal with a cannabis financier to produce marijuana in most of the 171 Main Street facility.

Vancouver-based Cannabis Wheaton Income Corporation announced today (Jan. 26) it has a “binding strategic alliance” with IDP Group. IDP will run its marijuana production operation under a subsidiary called CannabisCo.

“When Nestle left Chesterville 12 years ago, the city lost nearly 300 jobs and we aim at bringing back economic activity to the region,” said Hamed Asl, partner with IDP Group.

As for what it will mean for the region in terms of jobs, Asl told a township and chamber of commerce social in September, the facility would possibly create 150-200 local jobs over two years.

Cannabis Wheaton, the world’s first cannabis streaming company, believes the location is a “fantastic addition” to their portfolio because of its close proximity to the nation’s capital as well as railway and highway access.

Under the deal, Cannabis Wheaton will provide $12 million for the first phase of the project, which will create 100,000 square feet of growing space inside the 373,000 square foot Chesterville plant.

Two 100,000 square foot expansion phases are also on the table.

The company estimates the facility will churn out 7.5 million grams of cannabis a year during the first phase of the operation.

In return, Cannabis Wheaton will maintain a minority equity interest in the operation and a perpetual stream of 30 per cent of all cannabis produced at the plant.

IDP, which has experience in indoor agriculture, brings special vertical growing technology to the table and Cannabis Wheaton will help IDP market its technology, under the agreement.

IDP Group, which constructs furniture and large workstation setups for office buildings, bought the plant in 2015.

Subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approvals, the deal should close in 60 days.

A timeline for construction or hiring was not immediately available.