City of Powell River mayor Dave Formosa provided updates on airport development and the Santé Veritas Therapeutics marijuana operation at the city’s recent committee of the whole meeting.
Speaking at the meeting on Tuesday, August 13, Formosa said he has met with the owners of the Powell River Airport expansion project and had telephone conversations with some of the potential tenants who they are negotiating with to move into the airport development.
He said the philosophy of Gaoshi Holdings (Canada) Ltd., which holds a 99-year lease at the airport, is one of patient capital; build it and they will come.
“They are moving forward,” said Formosa. “It’s a slow process with Transport Canada, which has many regulations on what you can do and can’t do. It’s moving forward slowly but nicely. There are a number of tenants they are in discussions with who could do a great job in our community.”
Formosa said he had a conversation with a high-ranking official with Santé Veritas and that the matter of the marijuana growing facility had turned into a bit of a “poop show.” The folks the city dealt with initially were sincere but the project got too big for them, so they sold out to another group, he added.
“That group went to the public and raised a lot of money, did a number of consolidations with other corporations and the majority of their interests are in the United States,” said Formosa. He added that there are local employees [at Santé Veritas] now, four he believes, plus contractors who are happy to have their jobs.
Formosa said TILT Holdings, the corporation, has not received its licence from Health Canada because it keeps changing its board of directors. Health Canada needs to do an extensive review with the company and they just “don’t seem to stand still long enough.”
Formosa said he’d conversed with the former chief executive officer (CEO), who was one of the owners of TILT, the amalgamated corporation. He had told Formosa the corporation was looking at turning Santé Veritas into a research facility, and Formosa had reported that.
“Subsequently, they had an annual general meeting and that CEO was set aside and the third CEO is now in place,” said Formosa. “He is the owner of one of the companies that was merged.”
Formosa said in his conversation with the high-ranking TILT official, the company is dedicated and apologetic, and is telling him they are online for continuing the construction here completely to its fullest capacity and are back on the original track of growing product.
“Their rent is paid and their taxes are paid,” said Formosa. “There was approximately $14 million spent in the community, with local contractors and such.”
Formosa said he has spoken with the main local contractor, who has indicated he is ready to carry on and complete the project.