Risk & Business Magazine McFarlan Rowlands Magazine Winter 2018 | Page 6

JC GREEN INC. Growing The Future In The Past: JC Green Inc. I n the world we live in, repurposing has become a mainstay, particularly when it comes to older properties. Why let something sit and waste when it could be renovated and turned into something new and put back into use for a new generation? That’s exactly what Robert O’Neill stumbled upon when looking to found JC Green, a medical cannabis cultivation operation that is soon to be based out of the former Leesboro Central Pubic School in Thorndale, Ontario. With the “itch” to dive in and the means to do so, he began calling some consulting firms in Toronto that were in the medical cannabis space who advised him to check with the municipality. Calling Kelly Elliott, Counselor of his Ward, he was able to get her to review a property he was looking at, mentioning at the time that he had always thought of using “the old school” for something. Coincidentally, Dave Woods, the owner of the school, was actually looking into repurposing it for the same reason. Just over three years ago, Rob began looking into the medical cannabis industry and thought it offered tremendous opportunities. He was beginning to regain his health after a bad car accident and had a bit of money to invest in the industry. From there, the metaphorical seed was planted. Rob made a cold call to Dave, the call went well, and they began a collaboration. Both men came to an agreement and mutually decided that JC Green Inc. would be created to purchase the land, building, and pending licence, with Rob heading up both the corporation and the construction project. To understand how and why JC Green has been successful so far is to understand the commitment that Rob has to the work he is doing. In his words: “I believe in hard work and dedication. If I am going to commit to something, it gets my full attention. Unless there is something I can’t get out of, I am working seven days a week until I get this going.” That holds true for any business, but it is especially true for the medical marijuana cultivation business. Seeking funding from investors means you are personally responsible for bringing those investors returns. Rob believes that, to succeed, you must have your own set of internal morals that you cannot break. If you aren’t being true to yourself, then what is the point of continuing? “Integrity has gotten me to this point,” says Rob. “I left a fantastic career at EllisDon to strike out on my own, but the relationships I built there have followed me because of the respect and integrity I showed my coworkers, clients, and subcontractors.” The community has been welcoming with respect to the startup. It is expected to bring a significant number of jobs, tax revenue, and economic boosts to the area. From here, it’s up to the municipalities to decide whether that money ends up staying local or is distributed elsewhere. 6