Nanaimo lauds the wonders of pot (on its economy)

Tilray’s plant in Nanaimo has provided a $41.1 million boon in economic output.

Nanaimo embraces medical marijuana, a clean tech company rebounds, and please don’t be late for your flight

A happy haze

Nanaimo, it turns out, has a thing for B.C. bud.—growing it and not consuming it, that is (we can’t confirm the latter). According to the city’s economic development agency, since Tilray, a federally licensed medical marijuana plant, opened in 2014, it has provided a $41.1 million boon in economic output, including $8.5 million in tax revenues to all levels of government. Moreover the company has generated around 350 full-time jobs and $3.2 million in direct wages and salaries. 

Sasha Angus, CEO of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corp., is understandably enthusiastic. “Tilray has proven itself to be an incredible corporate citizen,” he said in a statement. And the windfall might get larger: Tilray plans to expand its presence in the city four-fold or five-fold as it ups its manufacturing operations over the next few years. 

Don’t turn off the lights
One of the province’s oldest clean tech firms, Carmanah Technologies, plans to raise $28 million through a stock offering on the TSX. And for Carmanah, which builds solar-powered traffic lights (among other lighting products), the raise marks a stark turnaround: in 2012 the company’s revenues fell by a quarter and hit a period of stagnation. In 2013 the board ushered in new management and led a restricting, and in 2014 revenues increased 68 per cent to $43.5 million (The Globe). As for this latest offering, the company plans to spend the money on funding its “growth strategy,” i.e., acquisitions and servicing its debts.

Please, please don’t be late for your flight
Of all the luxuries of flying out of a small-town airport, showing up egregiously late at check-in is not one of them. Comox Valley Airport issued a reminder to passengers on Tuesday to show up at least 45 minutes before departure or face getting turned away at the gate (more likely, not making it past security). 

“Often people will ignore the recommended check-in time because they feel like the rule shouldn’t apply to a smaller airport,” said Comox Valley Airport CEO Fred Bigelow, in a statement. Comox’s airport, which shares runways with B.C.’s biggest air force base, CFB Comox, offers flights to Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, among other destinations.