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Smiths Falls, Ontario's medical marijuana dreams

Marijuana Smiths Falls' new livelihood?
Marijuana Smiths Falls' new livelihood?Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images

After the 2008 closure of the Smiths Falls location of the Hershey chocolate factory, the town suffered a devastating loss as hundreds of its residents lost employment. Now, in the wake of new medical marijuana legislation, the small town's dreams now hold hopes of a new cannabis factory.

This is not unreasonable. The closure of the Hershey chocolate factory was only one of many factory closures, resulting in higher rates of unemployment for the residents of Smiths Falls, Ontario. Mayor Dennis Staples held that an estimated 1700 jobs were lost in total.

This goal may not be out of reach. Chuck Rafici, CEO of Tweed, Inc., the latest company to acquire medical marijuana to sell cannabis under the new Health Canada laws, expressed his interest in pursuing business in the town as it provides an excellent locale for production.

While this would not immediately restore approximately all 500 jobs for out-of-worker laborers, it is a starting point. Currently, Rafici reveals the factory is employing 20 individuals with this number expecting to exceed 100 in the next year and a bit.

Staples is a strong supporter of this possible change, not only happy it will offer new livelihood opportunities for Smith Falls citizens but because the issue is close to his heart. Having a brother who regularly uses cannabis to cope with the pain of colon cancer, Staples understands the importance of marijuana as a healing substance.

As more and more politicians tout the substance and continue to herald the advantages it offers to society, marijuana will become increasingly more accepted and more celebrated.