/By Join Together Staff
May 29th, 2014/
A former Hershey chocolate production plant in Ontario, Canada has become home to a marijuana production facility, The New York Times reports. The facility houses 50,000 marijuana plants.
The plant is now owned by Tweed Marijuana, one of about 20 companies licensed to grow medical marijuana in Canada, the article notes. When the government first approved medical marijuana in 2000, it allowed people to grow their own or turn over their growing to small operations, prompting complaints from law enforcement.
Canada now has a heavily regulated system to grow and sell marijuana. People with prescriptions for medical marijuana must purchase it from an approved large-scale producer such as Tweed.
“It’s just so rare that you have an industry that’s growing but which has a huge established market,” Tweed Chief Executive Chuck Rifici told the newspaper. “A year ago, if you asked me if I’d be working while looking at thousands of pot plants, I would never have thought that would be the case.”
In the United States, medical marijuana is legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia, and recreational marijuana is legal in Washington state and Colorado. Marijuana remains illegal under U.S. federal law, creating uncertainty in the marijuana growing business. The federal government recently banned marijuana growers in states where the drug is legal from using federal water on their crops.