A Bracebridge-based cannabis producer is preparing to release its Muskoka brand of marijuana into Canada’s newly legalized market.

Muskoka Grown is putting in the final paperwork to Health Canada to secure its sales licence with the hope to start offering its products to Ontarians by next year. CEO David Grand says while they weren’t quite ready for the first call for suppliers from the Ontario Cannabis Store, they’re ready for round two.

“We hope to be participating in that second call where some of our retail products will be available through the online store.”

But, Grand says they’re not just eyeing the online realm to sell their products. The Ford Government’s change to Ontario cannabis sales from a public to private model is also allowing marijuana producers to set up their own shops on site. Grand says plans are already underway to build their Muskoka Grown retail store.

“We’re still awaiting what the regulations are from the provincial government,” says Grand. “In the meantime, we are going to construct the building and we are going to get it ready as fast as we can.”

Grand is waiting on the province to release its regulations on private store set up before making any final design decisions. Many provinces have opted for open-concept store designs that provide added security and keep cannabis products out of site.

Along with the store, Grand is also planning more growth on his Bracebridge site, with a new 40,000 square foot building in the works. And with expansion comes the addition of new jobs.

“As we get a retail store there’s going to be a number of jobs because it obviously will be open seven days a week,” says Grand. “When we get into the new building that we put up for processing there’s going to be new jobs, at this point I don’t think I can speculate on how many jobs, but I do think it will be substantial.”

Since he first began planning the facility five years ago, Grand says he says he’s had nothing but support from Bracebridge officials to help make his dream a reality.

“The support we received from the town and of course Mayor Graydon Smith continues to astonish me.”

And he’s thankful for all of the community support during the construction process.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response from the community,” says Grand. “We’ve been able to hire locally which has always been one of our goals.”

Grand says he’s still receiving thanks from local residents and business for bringing this industry to Bracebridge and kudos for how well his company has conducted itself within the community.

“We’ve done a lot for the community and we hope to do more.”

You can learn more about Muskoka Grown and keep up to date with the company’s future plans here.

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