ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Nova Scotia businessman Bill Sanford, very comfortably situated in the later years of his professional life, never envisioned being involved in the cannabis industry at 65.
But here he is, days from selling the first grams of recreational pot in Canada and playing an active part in the whole process.
“I’m on the production floor with people every day, so I’ve done every job and do every job that they do,” says Sanford, CEO of Wentworth Valley, Nova Scotia-based Breathing Green Solutions, the province’s first licenced medical cannabis producer.
“It builds a much better production team when they see the old man sweeping and cleaning, planting and trimming plants, harvesting bud and everything else.”
Sanford came to the budding industry through his youngest son Joe and a business partner who came to him seeking backing. He put his own expertise in the investment world to use, studied the prospect, visited a licenced operation and opted to dive in.
A shade under a year later, Breathing Green is through its fifth harvest, focusing on perfecting four strains to start with: high THC varieties cleverly named Lemon Dory, Mirage, and Nor’Easter, and a mid-range CBD strain dubbed Shelter.
“We’ve got lots of finished product in storage that’s been approved by external labs and the quality is as we hoped it would be, and we’re really just awaiting our licence to sell from Health Canada now,” says Sanford “We’ve gone through all of those hoops, so it’s really just a waiting game now.”