Norfolk County has rolled out the red carpet for companies interested in making a substantial, long-term investment. Medicinal marijuana producer Maricann, of Langton, has noticed. Last week, Maricann returned the favour in a big way.
Maricann stunned Langton on Friday with a whopping donation of $35,750 to the Langton Area Minor Hockey Association and the Langton Skating Club.
The money represents contributions from Maricann, its employees and contractors who are currently working on a 217,000-square-foot expansion of its production facilities on North Walsingham Road 8.
“It’s almost mind-blowing,” minor hockey president Mike Gubesch said at the Langton Arena.
For her part, skating club treasurer Rebecca Vandendriessche described the donation as “overwhelming.”
Maricann has left it up to the skating club and Langton minor hockey to allocate the funds.
At Friday morning's event, possibilities suggested include Let’s Play Langton, which is LAMHA’s equipment and registration subsidy program. The skating club has a similar program titled Learn to Skate Langton.
“We can give back in so many ways,” Vandendriessche said in a media release.
Norfolk officials invited to Friday’s event were blown away by this display of generosity.
“It’s fantastic,” said Langton Coun. Roger Geysens, pleased with the rapid pace of hiring and job development at Maricann.
“That’s what we want to see - to keep more people in Norfolk County, particularly this section of Norfolk.”
Geysens said a donation like this can’t help but boost the number of young people in the Langton area participating in minor hockey and figure skating.
Norfolk Mayor Charlie Luke quipped that Maricann is establishing “roots deep in this community” while county CAO David Cribbs complimented the company for its good corporate citizenship.
“Not once have they let me down,” Luke said. “They do more than talk the talk.”
Maricann is indeed setting down deep roots in Norfolk. The $75-million expansion currently underway will be completed sometime this spring or by early summer.
Maricann also has plans for a second addition - this one measuring 630,000 square feet. Maricann expects to break ground on this phase early in the new year.
At Friday’s event, Maricann CEO Ben Ward thanked Norfolk County for being “incredibly supportive of us.”
“We are happy to return the favour in some small way,” Ward said.
Maricann established greenhouse growing facilities southwest of Langton in 2013. Its focus is on the production of medicinal marijuana in strictly-controlled, state-of-the-art growing facilities.
While it does that, Maricann is also gearing up to be a major supplier of laboratory-tested marijuana for the recreational market in Canada. Marijuana for recreational purposes will become legal across the country in July.