Plant in Smiths Falls ‘centre of everything’

Smiths Falls Deputy Clerk Nadine Bennet, Mario Castillo and Sean Webster
Smiths Falls Deputy Clerk Nadine Bennet helps Mario Castillo and Sean Webster with PowerPoint equipment before their Canopy Growth presentation. Photo credit: Sally Smith.
Posted on: January 15, 2019

Sally Smith

Sean Webster and Mario Castillo, Canopy Growth representatives, addressed Committee of the Whole Monday night. In an overview of the huge business, they talked about where Canopy is, and where it’s going.

The plant in Smiths Falls is the “centre of everything,” Webster, Director, Government & Stakeholder Relations for both Federal and Ontario, said.

  • In 2014 the plant started with five employees and now employees 1500-2000;
  • In 2018, Canopy invested $150M in capital and will invest another $70M in 2019;
  • Cannabis is produced elsewhere in facilities across Canada and returns to Smiths Falls for final processing and shipping;
  • There is 5.6 million sq. ft. under cultivation in direct response to the federal government’s legalization of cannabis;
  • On January 14, Canopy announced an investment in New York state, the first state-side location for Canopy.

Castillo, Regional Manager, continued.

  • There are well over 3000 employed across the globe with 1200-1300 being in Smiths Falls at this time;
  • Every Monday Canopy onboards more people. This Monday it took on 14/15, previous Monday 127, one before that 159, 112 before that;
  • At the end of the building cycle, a one million sq. ft. campus will have been erected;
  • Of 1100 employees, 341 live in our postal code, 91 from Perth, 50 from Carleton Place, 128 from Merrickville, and 448 from Ottawa;
  • The company looks for these skills: recent graduate from high school to PhD level — education and sciences, biomedical, horticultural and plant sciences, a science degree of any type, and particularly engineering;
  • Those speaking languages other than French and English are also employable at the large call centre;
  • The majority of the payroll is made up of 22 to 35-year-olds;
  • Growth blocks might include lack of housing to either rent or buy, and transportation.

Briefs briefly

  • A 60-day extension has been granted to Feathered Haven Parrot Rescue, owned by Jill Woods at 45 Beech Street, to facilitate the closing down of the shelter; the extension will give relief from bylaw enforcement in order to place the birds in new homes. Six birds need to be re-homed.
  • Art Manhire, Director of Community Services, asked for pre-budget authorization to purchase three dock sections from Kehoe Marine at a cost of just over $67,000. They will be used to enhance dock access and provide good dockage in the Victoria Park basin. The Town has access to $27,000 in funding from Valley Heartland; it needs to be committed before January 31, this year.