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Senators to tour cannabis production facility

Senators to tour Canopy Growth Corporation’s facility in Smiths Falls in February.

Canadian Senators will tour a licensed cannabis production facility as part of their study of a bill that sets the framework for legalizing cannabis.

The tour will give members of the Upper Chamber an opportunity to view how the product is grown in commercial quantities and allow for detailed questions to be posed to company representatives.

Visits will take place at Canopy Growth Corporation’s facility in Smiths Falls, Ont., on Feb. 12 and Feb. 26.

“The more we know, the more informed our debate will be,” said Senator Tony Dean, who is sponsoring the bill in the Senate and whose office has organized the tour. “I’m urging as many Senators as possible to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Sen. Dean said it will be helpful to learn first-hand about a number of issues pertaining to production. That includes how the supply is safeguarded, the quantity of resources—including land and water—that are used in cannabis production, and the differences in production between medicinal and non-medicinal cannabis, if any.

Senators might also be interested in issues such as quality control and the training of individuals involved in sales of the product, said Sen. Dean.

“Canadians are asking us to conduct a comprehensive review of what will be an important societal change,” said Sen. Dean. “We will have lots to say about this law and a lot of questions to ask.”

Canopy Growth Corporation has half a million square feet of indoor and greenhouse production capacity. The firm is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

To date, CGC has entered into supply agreements with two provincial governments to provide cannabis products for their non-medical markets.

Debate on Bill C-45, the proposed Cannabis Act, began in the Senate last November.

Sen. Dean has been a proponent of establishing a modernized and easily accessible debating process on the bill, which will help eliminate interruptions and allow for more back-and-forth between Senators on the chamber floor. A timetable for debate would provide Canadians with the opportunity to better follow this important discussion, said Sen. Dean.

“If we can organize and bring focus to our deliberations on the bill by creating a process and timetable that is responsive to the interests of Canadians, especially younger Canadians, we can achieve the kind of scrutiny that citizens and stakeholders expect and deserve from us,” Sen. Dean said an opinion piece last year, which appeared in iPolitics.

Senators to glean knowledge during tour of cannabis production facility