Aqualitas expands to reach domestic and international markets

News release

From left: The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margarets, learns about Aqualitas from the company’s Founder and CEO Myrna Gillis and aquaculture technician Greg Chambers on a tour of the facility in Brooklyn, NS

Queens County facility will get certification for its organically grown medical cannabis products and create more jobs

September 5, 2019 – Brooklyn, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

The jobs of the future depend on Canadians’ ability to continue to adapt, innovate and maintain a competitive edge in the fast-paced and increasingly global economy. That is why the Government of Canada is helping licensed medical cannabis producer Aqualitas Inc. expand its operations in rural Nova Scotia. This will enable the firm to grow, create more highly skilled jobs and help build a sustainable economy in Atlantic Canada.

Aqualitas is building an 8,500 square-foot addition to its production facility at the former Bowater Mersey site and buying specialized equipment to meet Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification standards. Once certified, Aqualitas will be able to participate in pharmaceutical drug development manufacturing and export its medical products internationally. The woman-led startup, which has grown from 10 employees to nearly 80 in the past 18 months, expects to employ more than 100 people within the next year.

Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margarets, announced support for Aqualitas on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

The Government of Canada is making smart investments that will create good, highly skilled jobs in our country. It is helping small and medium-sized businesses to start-up, expand or modernize and supporting not-for-profit industry organizations to fuel business growth. Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is working to achieve its Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region.


Cutting-edge life sciences companies like Aqualitas help Atlantic Canadian businesses take advantage of emerging opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector, successfully compete in world markets and grow the local economy. Projects such as this one showcase the best of what the region offers, providing quality bio-innovations that help to attract and retain talent, and forge global connections.”

-     The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for ACOA

Growing and maintaining good jobs in and around rural communities is crucial to improving quality of life and building wealth in Atlantic Canada. The Government of Canada is proud to support innovative businesses like Aqualitas that place a premium on environmental sustainability, create highly skilled jobs in a rural community to spur economic growth, and make the world a better, and less painful, place.”

-     The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margarets

Aqualitas is committed to improving the lives of people in Canada and around the world and is proud to be doing so from right here in rural Nova Scotia. We are grateful to the Government of Canada, and in particular, ACOA, for supporting this expansion that will allow us to realize our mission of providing patients with safe, high-quality medical products.”

-     Myrna Gillis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Aqualitas Inc.

Quick facts

  • Aqualitas is a green, environmentally sustainable company that focuses on local employment. It is the first Canadian licensed cannabis producer to have its cultivation practices certified organic by Clean Green.

  • Aqualitas cultivates and processes safe, high-quality, organically grown cannabis using both organic living soil and a proprietary aquaponics system.

  • Aquaponic growing combines hydroponics (soil-less growing of plants) and aquaculture (raising fish). Fish and plants are grown together in an integrated system, each benefiting the other. Aqualitas does not use synthetic fertilizers in its system, which requires up to 90% less water than traditional indoor methods and uses LED lighting to cut energy consumption in half.

  • Aqualitas is receiving a $2,000,000 repayable contribution from ACOA, through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.

  • The Business Scale-up and Productivity stream of the REGI program supports businesses at various stages of development, including high-growth firms, to accelerate their growth, help them scale-up and enhance their productivity and competitiveness in both domestic and global markets.

  • The REGI program continues to build on the objectives of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan.


Lori Selig
Acting Director
Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-266-7477 (cell)

Nancy Stapleton
Director of Communications
Aqualitas Inc.
902-835-2784 ext. 107 / 902-266-3389 (cell)

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: