Canopy Growth wants to rejuvenate the tourism industry in Smiths Falls.

For decades Smiths Falls was the chocolate capital of Ontario with thousands of people visiting the Hershey factory each year. But the factory was shut down 10 years ago- the town losing jobs and taking a hit to their local economy.

Canopy Growth moved in five years ago and has created over 700 jobs.

Now they are now hoping to create a new tourism market built around marijuana. Tweed will officially open a Visitor Centre on Saturday.  Canopy Growth Bruce Linton says the centre features “larger than life exhibits that educate about the art, culture, science and history surrounding the cannabis plant.”

Linton says, “I don't need you to want or not want cannabis, or like or dislike it. I want to make sure that you are informed making decisions based on factual information.”

Canopy Growth says with legalization coming October 17th 2018, many people are curious about cannabis and want to learn more.

Linton says they expect more than double the amount of visitors that Hersey brought in “I think you are going to measure it in the hundreds of thousands,” Linton says.

Smiths Falls Mayor Shawn Pankow says Smiths Falls has become “a changing community and a community on the rise” thanks to Canopy Growth’s investment in the community.

Pankow says “We are a community that pulled ourselves out of despair and job losses and have now entered a new era of prosperity.”

The company also plans to open a cannabis store in the centre by 2019 where visitors can buy pot after their tour.

The company is Canada’s largest pot producers and was selected as one of 26 licenced producers for the province when it becomes legal in October.