Even more jobs promised by new medical pot company

Even more jobs promised by new medical pot company

The number of jobs created by BC Green Pharmaceutical’s recently announced Princeton medical cannabis plant is likely to double when the facility is completed.

Last week the company said it would begin construction here in September, and be operating early in 2019.

Phase One of the project is still projected to create 95 jobs, but when phases two and three are finished – after another two years – there ought to be twice that many opportunities, according to company spokesperson Bryan Safarik.

The response following the announcement has been “overwhelming,” said Safarik.

“We’ve gotten so many emails and I haven’t had time to respond to everyone.”

Most of those emails are inquiries about employment.

Safarik said initially the company wasn’t sure how many of its positions would be able to be filled locally, although a press release from the municipality said it anticipated 85 per cent of the jobs would go to Princeton residents.

“It’s really positive feedback from everyone and it’s exciting…it seems that there are a lot of people in the city that are interested.”

Related: BC Green Pharmaceuticals “excited” to come to Princeton

Hiring should begin in the middle of October, he said, and the company will advertise locally and likely hold a job fair.

Safarik was reluctant to be too specific about the kind of wages applicants might expect, but said about half the jobs will be salary positions that would likely start at $50,000 plus.

Starting hourly wages may be around the $18-$20 an hour mark.

“For people who are motivated there are lots of opportunities,” he said. “We don’t want to have minimum wage jobs. Our business model isn’t built around that.”

He said the company’s preference “will be to have people full time. The facility will be running seven days a week, 18 to 24 hours a day.”

Safarik also said BC Green Pharmaceutical hopes to use as many local tradespeople as possible during the construction of the plant, but added the major builders in the area have not yet expressed an interest.

“I’ve actually reached out to a few builders but I guess they are so busy.”

Safarik has lined up a contractor from out of the area, and said when the exterior of the facility is in place they will do their best to use local subcontractors for the interior work.

“I am going to keep on reaching out to local people.”

The BC Green Pharmaceutical plant will be built in the Princeton Industrial Park, on David Brown Way. The company paid the municipality $600,000 for three lots.

The facility will cost $21.5 million to construct and will incorporate state of the art technology that will limit the firm’s carbon footprint, as well as eliminate light and odor issues associated with other cannabis operations, said Safarik.

Phase One of construction is a 79,000 square foot cultivation facility. An extraction lab and research facility will be added later.

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