News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

February 22, 2019

PROVINCE CONCLUDES DEAL TO BRING NEW ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES TO PINELAND FOREST NURSERY

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Botanist Organic Growers Corp. to Grow Hemp, Create New Jobs: Pedersen

The Manitoba government has concluded a deal to revitalize and bring new economic opportunities to Pineland Forest Nursery and the surrounding region, with the successful bidder being a company that plans to grow and develop hemp, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen and Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“Thanks to this investment, a valuable provincial asset can now be repurposed and continue to be a significant employer in the region,” said Pedersen.  “It will build upon Manitoba’s strengths in value-added agricultural processing and bring new life to the area, with plans to hire even more people than once worked at the nursery.”   

The new venture, Botanist Organic Growers Corp., has agreed to purchase the on-site assets and negotiated a long-term lease for Crown land previously used by Pineland Forest Nursery.  There are plans to cultivate hemp and eventually establish a processing facility that will turn hemp into biomass for cannabidiol (CBD) material.  CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in the hemp cannabis plant with useful properties as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety and seizure-suppressant.  

“Over the next few years, we will be investing tens of millions of dollars into production facilities, and research and development.  We also plan to create an education centre to raise awareness to the role hemp CBD with no THC can play in providing natural treatments for physical and mental well-being,” said Duncan Gordon, chairman and co-founder of Botanist Organic Growers.  “We’re looking forward to building a global leader in hemp CBD right here in Manitoba.  We expect to employ upwards of 200 people over the next three years while making key alliances with First Nations entrepreneurs, farmers, universities and others.”

Pineland Forest Nursery, near Hadashville, was originally established to produce seedlings for the province and supplied some seedlings for customers outside the province as well.  An extensive review determined the nursery was not viable as a provincially operated entity as it was losing nearly half a million dollars a year
 
“Our government is pleased to see this environmental and economic asset renewed,” said Squires.  “This sale does not change our commitment to sustainable forestry as reforestation and seedling planting will continue throughout the province.  A request for proposals was issued in November, 2018, and a deal has now been reached with private nurseries to supply our next crop of seedlings.”

The province is also pleased to confirm the University of Winnipeg will continue to have access to the area as part of a 20-year research agreement with the province, Minister Squires noted.

Pineland Forest Nursery staff have all been redeployed within the civil service and alternate positions have been offered to seasonal staff, meaning no one has been left without a job as a result of the sale.

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