In Canada, breaking bad: Former Hershey factory turning to pot

October 11th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

OTTAWA — An abandoned factory once owned by Hershey Co. in Canada may soon be making products that offer a bigger buzz than a chocolate kiss: marijuana, under license by the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Bruce Linton, chairman of Tweed Inc. — one of 185 companies seeking a permit to start producing pot next year — said finding a location was one of his biggest obstacles because landlords shun even sanctioned drug production.

“Five years ago your parents would have disowned you if you thought about doing this,” said Linton, 47. “It’s like saying ‘poop’ when you are nine or something. Marijuana is like that for adults because it’s a taboo.”

Canada’s health department in June said it would end a system allowing people to grow medicinal pot in their homes and instead have companies supply the drug. The image of pot factories represents a shift for Harper, who says he never smoked marijuana and who has campaigned on being tough on crime.

The licensing of output is a “tightening up versus loosening up” of drug laws because it separates “the legitimate from the illicit use,” said Mark Mander, chairman of a drug panel for the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and head of police in Kentville, Nova Scotia.

Home-grown pot has led to “unintended consequences” that hurt public safety and led to people abusing the system, Health Canada said in June when it published rules. The new system regulates marijuana like other narcotics, according to a background paper that says commercial

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