Tilray closing Enniskillen medical cannabis facility

Master Horticulturist Françoise Lévesque takes local media on a tour of High Park Farms in Enniskillen Township. May 15, 2018 (Photo by Melanie Irwin)

After just three years in operation, Tilray has announced it’s closing its $30-million dollar medical cannabis facility in Enniskillen Township.

In an email to Blackburn News, the company confirmed the closure of High Park Farms is anticipated by September 2021.

Tilray said as it merges operations with Leamington-based Aphira Inc., the company is “making changes to optimize operational efficiencies.” The company said it will concentrate local cultivation in Leamington, and local manufacturing in its nearby facility in London.

Enniskillen Township Mayor and Lambton County Warden Kevin Marriott said it’s a shock and a disappointment to lose the area’s largest employer.

(Far left.) Petrolia Mayor John McCharles and Enniskillen Township Mayor Kevin Marriott join members of High Park Farms for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Lasalle Line facility. May 15, 2018 (Photo by Melanie Irwin)

(Far left.) Petrolia Mayor John McCharles and Enniskillen Township Mayor Kevin Marriott join members of High Park Farms for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Lasalle Line facility. May 15, 2018 (Photo by Melanie Irwin)

“We’ve already been negatively impacted by COVID as far as some jobs so this really adds to that quite strongly,” said Marriott. “It’s really hard to express how it’s going to impact some of those jobs.”

The 200 employees impacted by the High Park closure are being encouraged to apply for jobs in either Leamington or London.

Marriott is hopeful the site can be utilized by a different company in the future.

“I’m optimistic that something will be grown there in the future,” he said. “They’re still building vegetable greenhouses everywhere so I’m sure it’s a prime piece of real estate that someone will be interested in, whether it’s cannabis or vegetables.”

In February 2020, Tilray announced plans to lay off 10 per cent of its workforce to cut costs, but at the time, confirmed its commitment to the Enniskillen operation.

The 100-acre Lasalle Line property, which was once home to the Enniskillen Pepper Company, includes 13 acres of greenhouse space.