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Ontario village surprised by appearance of cannabis farm licensed by Health Canada

Click to play video 'Flinton cannabis farm surprises neighbours and municipality' Flinton cannabis farm surprises neighbours and municipality
Neighbours and municipality are surprised by a Flinton cannabis farm – Sep 19, 2018

A cannabis farm with over 8,000 plants has popped up in the village of Flinton, Ont., which is situated north of Napanee, to the great surprise of municipal officials.

Although the OPP say the farm has been licensed by Health Canada — the local municipality didn’t know it existed until Tuesday.

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Marlean Mclean, who owns property near the cannabis farm, said she moved out to the country in order to get away from it all. Now her new neighbours have large greenhouses brimming with marijuana, and a thriving business in her neighbourhood.

“I don’t think people move back here even considering — ‘Oh my neighbour down the road is going to have a grow op’ — either legal or illegal.”

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Mclean says the grow operation, whether it’s been approved by the federal government or not, makes her feel uncomfortable, especially since she wasn’t notified.

“It decreases property value,” said Mclean.

Moreover, she feels concerned that Health Canada didn’t notify the municipality that they had licensed a cannabis company in Flinton. Neither Mclean nor municipal officials know the name of the company, how long it’s been running or when it was licensed.

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Global News contacted Health Canada to ask these questions, but the federal ministry said they cannot comment on medical cannabis business applications, since these applications are considered confidential business information.

Henry Hogg, reeve of the village of Flinton, said he was surprised to hear of the mystery cannabis operation.

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“Health Canada is supposed to notify the municipality of this kind of operation — including the location and the owner’s name. We didn’t receive that notification.”

But Health Canada did say that all licensed operations have to follow municipal laws. According to municipal officials, the property used for the cannabis farm has not been rezoned for commercial use.

Flinton’s CEO Christine Reid says that since the property has been newly acquired, the municipality could not divulge the name of the property owner, but she did confirm that they had no knowledge that a business was operating at that location.

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Hogg believes the situation has been mismanaged by the federal government.

“That leads to bad feeling between neighbours,” said Hogg. “Other people wonder why they haven’t heard about it — we can’t notify anybody if we don’t know ourselves.”

For Mclean, it leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

“I feel it’s a concern,” said Mclean. “These things are happening and how many more of them are out there and that homeowners are not aware of.”

Global News made contact with the owners of the farm, but due to a language barrier, were unable to communicate.

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According to municipal officials, an inspector has started an investigation into the situation.