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The former fish plant in Burin has extended its life by at least 20 more years, thanks to a new deal struck between the provincial government and private company Oceanic Releaf to supply cannabis for two decades.

The deal also includes two retail licences to operate a pair of storefronts in the province, with no upfront cost to taxpayers and remittances on taxes paid by the retail shops over the next 10 years.

Oceanic Releaf will use the 60,000-square-foot facility to produce 4,000 kilograms of cannabis after construction is completed in 2023.

The company’s CEO, Taylor Giovannini, said they are close to finishing the first phase of the fish plant retrofit, with about 15,000 square feet completed.

All together, the project is expected to employ 76 people in direct, indirect and induced jobs. The province hopes it will add $24.6 million to the provincial gross domestic product and $3.2 million in wages annually.

While the full scope of construction won’t be completed until 2023, the company hopes to produce cannabis by next spring.

According to a news release from the provincial government, Oceanic Releaf will get a 10 per cent break on taxes owed to the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Commission from sales in the company’s two retail stores, along with a five per cent reduction for online sales and a three per cent reduction for cannabis sold in other retail stores it supplies.

The supply agreement also includes Delta 9 Cannabis Inc., a company based in Manitoba that will serve as a consultant to Oceanic Releaf.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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