The city of Grande Prairie wants to learn more about the burgeoning cannabis market and if there might be a “roll” in it for them. They are interested in studying the possibility of a production facility and have received money from the province to fund the research.

More than $37,000 in funding was announced Monday by the Minister of Economic Development and Trade while he was visiting Grande Prairie. Mayor Bill Given says other municipalities are doing the same thing.

“Olds is a particular example that stands out. I think council wants to be sure that we have the balance of the information so that we’re well positioned to make smart decisions on behalf of our community.”

“There are additional developments happening in the Edmonton area,” he continued, “where there are some very significant buildings being built to grow cannabis. We need to have some information on whether that’s possible for here in Grande Prairie.”

Minister Bilous said the facility was expected to focus on hemp. Mayor Given says they’re definitely looking at a production facility, not your “garden variety” retail store but whether hemp was the end product remained unclear.

“The discussion was really around the production of or growing of cannabis.”

Given says there is no solid timeline on the project.

The funding was part of the Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program. Other grants went to Grande Prairie Tourism and to the Van Horne Institute for a study of a possible rail container yard in the Peace region. A total of 62 projects around the province received nearly $4 million.