Gravenhust council received an update on Bracebridge-based cannabis producer Muskoka Grown at the July 20 Committee of the Whole meeting.
President John Fowler wanted to emphasize that “the name is the same, but it is a new company.”
In May 2020, under previous management Muskoka Grown filed for bankruptcy. Fowler acknowledged that “there was a lot of damage to small creditors. We want to let them know that they can make money going forward.”
“I am coming with open hands, I want to clear any stale air. Any business needs the support of council in good or challenging times,” said Fowler.
Fowler, who is a Toronto-based lawyer, was one of the original founders of Supreme Cannabis’ flagship brand, 7ACRES located near Kincardine, Ont. Between 2013-2019 Fowler raised over $350 million to build 7ACRES, which created over 600 jobs locally.
Fowler reported that Muskoka Grown has created 60 jobs so far, with employees coming from Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and other surrounding communities. This summer, they “aim to have 75 full-time employees. Fowler said that some hiring has been done through job fairs such as the one held on July 7 and that more will be coming.
Coun. Graeme Murray asked what kinds of skills would be required to work in the cannabis facility. Fowler said that “there is no specific track to get into this. These are entry-level production jobs. They start at $17 per hour and we provide full benefits.”
Coun. John Gordon asked Fowler if the cannabis being grown was intended for medical or recreational purposes. Fowler explained that Muskoka Grown produces “dried flowers to be smoked, it is for recreational purposes. Some people may self-medicate, but we are not licensed medically.”
Coun. Penny Varney pointed out that there are five local cannabis stores and asked if Muskoka Grown would be providing to them directly.
“We are federally licensed, ” said Fowler. “Which means our product can be sold in almost every province. The product goes to a facility in Guelph, where retailers can go and choose any product.”
When asked if there are plans to open a Muskoka Grown retail store, Fowler said no, “we are sticking to what we are good at–producing product, not retailing it.”
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