Published by: CTV News Ottawa
Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa
Published Monday, April 9, 2018 5:06PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 9, 2018 7:13PM EDT
There’s a new cannabis facility being built outside Kemptville that is hoping to capture an exclusively female market.
Its founder is a woman who believes cannabis can help improve the health of many women. But neighbours aren’t convinced the facility will be good for their health.
Down a rural road outside of Kemptville there is a construction frenzy going on.
The former home of Oxford furniture has been re-tooled to become a cannabis company called Fleurish.
“This is one of our bloom rooms,” says Renée Ellison, the founder of Fleurish, which is a company that promises to give the green cannabis leaf a metaphorical pink hue.
“As a female founder,” says Ellison, “to be able to focus on women’s health and create a brand that will help and support women with their use of cannabis.”
Ellison, who worked with Health Canada on the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, believes cannabis works differently for women and can help with problems specific to women, such as PMS.
“We know women prefer to use cannabis in the evening with a friend or partner,” she says, “They also prefer to use cannabis that’s more fruity or floral in flavor.”
Ellison has literally bet her house on this, having remortgaged it to buy the buildings, which include the former showroom for Oxford Furniture and the woodworking shop that now holds the bloom rooms where most of the cannabis product will be cultivated.
“This is our vault,” says Ellison, of another room within the largest building, “and this is where we’re going to be storing all our product.”
They are still going through the process to become a licensed producer. They expect to submit an evidence package to Health Canada within the next week or so and hope for a cultivation license this spring. Their plan is to have product to sell by the end of the year.
“It’s overwhelming to see the dream has come into reality,” says Ellison.
Some of the neighbours, on the other hand, are not so thrilled. None of them would talk to CTV on camera, but many expressed concerns about how close the facility was to their homes and what it might mean to their air and water quality.
Ellison says her company is adhering to strict standards and is committed to being a good neighbour.
“Our building is located in Kemptville and the zoning is appropriate for its use,” Ellison said in a statement, “We completed extensive research on the zoning in Kemptville before purchasing the building. Kemptville municipal officials have been very supportive. The neighbours and community have had the opportunity for input as part of the transparent process. We have had discussions with one neighbour who is adjacent to the facility. We are building a state-of-the-art facility under the direction of a consulting engineering firm that will meet or exceed the extremely stringent standards set out by municipal zoning and Health Canada. We will recirculate our water. Our ventilation system has the proper equipment for air filtration to remove odor and pollens and meets section 61 of the ACMPR.”
In the meantime, they are plowing ahead with their plan to produce about 2000 kilograms a year and build a second facility in Southern Ontario.Once it is operating, Fleurish will employ about 35 people.