In October 2013, local newsmedia reported that Michal Hasek, venture capitalist and Real Estate Broker, was planning to turn part of the old Kraft building into an indoor marijuana growing facility. It was intended to supply the growing medical market for marijuana. It seems that some time before August 2014, he sold to Thomas Fairfull of FV Pharma in Whitby. On Saturday, the Toronto Star reports that after a long wait, Fairfull has now secured a licence from Health Canada (Cultivation license granted on October 13, 2017). He plans to harvest his first crop of 4,000 kilos as early as February 2018. The Star also reported that FV Pharma intends to purchase the entire 15-acre property, now called the Cobourg Innovation Centre, and has a closing date set for December. He plans to “make this operation the biggest and best marijuana facility in the world.”
FV Pharma says they have 25,000 square feet ready for production and in the next year will expand by an additional 300,000. The Star reports that “in the next five years, Fairfull envisions equipping the facility with four million square feet of growth space across five levels.” That sounds like a major expansion of the buildings currently on the site. According to Fairfull, tenants currently occupy “a very small portion of the property,” but they will move out once their leases expire, he said. The seller of the property would no doubt be 520 William Incorporated with Sidney Spiegel, President, as documented on the Certo building discussion. Fairfull would then inherit the Certo building problem too.
Samantha Beattie of the Star reported that Fairfull “wants to create a lecture hall in the facility to host presentations and conferences for the medical community to educate them on the health benefits of marijuana.” Maybe that’s because the building already has a lecture room and conference facilities. Fairfull also said that when pot is legal, he plans to produce some marijuana for that market but will focus mostly on the medical side.
Fairfull’s estimates of employment in 2015 were 25 to 40 new jobs initially, and within five years, up to another 250 to 300 more. His most recent estimate is 150 people by the end of 2018 and as many as 1,200 jobs in five years. This would obviously depend on the market being significantly larger than it is now and/or that FV Pharma dominates the market.
If these ambitious plans come to fruition, then the owners of the old Kraft location could once again be one of the major employers in the Town. It might even make Cobourg a destination for people looking for employment and not just retirement. It would also give new meaning to “Cobourg – the feel good town”.
The Star reported that “Cobourg Mayor Gil Brocanier declined to comment on FV Pharma’s plans until the official announcement is made on Monday (Oct 16).” When there is an official announcement from the Town, it will be added to this report.
- Toronto Star Report by Samantha Beattie – Marijuana Company to Breathe New Life into Cobourg’s former Kraft Plant
- Health Canada list of licensed producers – 67 in Canada, 38 in Ontario – as of October 16, 2017
- Linked-In – Thomas Fairfull
- Medical Marijuana Facility to Proceed in Cobourg – August 2015 – Northumberland Today
- FV Pharma Name Change – and confirmation that FV Pharma applied for a licence from Health Canada – August 2014
- Cobourg Internet Report – Marijuana Factory may be coming to Cobourg – October 2013
Comments by Mayor Brocanier
Northumberland News has reported on the above and includes some comments by Mayor Gil Brocanier – go here.