Strathcona County amends bylaws for cannabis production facilities

A file photo of a marijuana plant.
A file photo of a marijuana plant. Joe Mahoney / The Canadian Press

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article previously suggested the bylaw amendment gave Strathcona County more power over where cannabis production facilities can be located. A county spokesperson has clarified this is not the case and the article has since been corrected.

Strathcona County council has voted to give cannabis production facilities a new definition, however, the process for companies applying for permits to operate such facilities in the region will still see them apply for them under a discretionary use designation.

Previously, cannabis production facilities were interpreted as falling under the county’s agriculture intensive horticulture definition.

On Tuesday, council voted in support of a proposed amendment to define “cannabis production facility.” The amendment adds the facilities to the list of discretionary uses in medium industrial zoning districts and agricultural zoning districts.

LISTEN: Aaron Barr with Canadian Rockies Agricultural Ltd. talks to guest host Shaye Ganam on the Ryan Jespersen Show on 630 CHED

A spokesperson pointed out the facilities were previously also on those lists but under the agriculture intensive horticulture definition.

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“The amendment also ensures Strathcona County supports innovation and remains competitive in the region,” Mayor Rod Frank said in a news release on Wednesday. “We want to continue to be open for business and diversification and stay true to our Agriculture Master Plan.”

If a company is granted a development permit, the county said the applicant still has to apply to the federal government for a licence and other regulatory approvals before production can get underway.

Strathcona County council does not approve permits, instead the county’s development authority is tasked with that.

READ MORE: Strathcona County addresses cannabis production facilities, plans to amend land-use bylaw

Watch below: On Dec. 17, 2017, Kim Smith filed this report about how Strathcona County is preparing for the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Strathcona County tries to find balance in cannabis-related bylaw
Strathcona County tries to find balance in cannabis-related bylaw

For more information on Strathcona County’s strategy for dealing with the legalization of recreational cannabis, click here.

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