Father and son Neil and William Ewart this week attended a public meeting in Langholm to unveil their proposal to build a 1.5 hectare glasshouse to grow cannabis to the highest grade for the pharmaceutical industry.
It is anticipated the development would see around £10 million of investment and create around 50 jobs initially, but as many as over 100 further down the line, ranging from high-skilled professions in the laboratories to labour work in the glasshouses.
And Mr Ewart Senior hopes to use trusted locals to drive the enterprise forward.
Speaking yesterday, he said: “At the moment the plan is to build glasshouses on the hillside which will produce a medical cannabis product to the highest medical standard, which is even higher than food factories. One has to get through an awful lot of hoops to get there and the first thing we need is planning permission.”
After that they will need to apply for a licence to produce cannabis, which can be used by pharmaceutical companies for drugs to treat cancer and its treatment side effects, epilepsy and pain disorders.
In order to get a licence, they have to show the area is secure and they can source a trustworthy workforce.
Mr Ewart, a farmer, said: “Langholm is a small town and I think we can demonstrate its the ideal place for it.
“This is just the beginning.”