Councillors green-light new rules for marijuana production facilities

City councillors don't get a say in who can get a federal license to grow marijuana, but they do get to dictate where the those production facilities can be built.

The city's planning committee met Tuesday to discuss new rules relating to the location of the facilities, before commercial production begins in April.

A 150 metre buffer zone will be required between houses and the manufacturing building, which will also be enclosed - and thus produce no odours, according to city staff.

But Councillor Diane Deans said that's what she was told about another project in her ward.

"And I can tell you, the waste-transfer facility is set back a lot more than 150 meters and in the summer when it's warm out, I get no end of complaints from the residents about the odours," said Deans. "I'm not 100 per cent convinced. I have to wait and see about that."

Rod MacLean with the Katimavik-Hazeldean Community Association agreed with Deans.

"It makes it easier for someone to imagine that they could arrange a scheme to penetrate the building," he said.

Residents attending the meeting also brought forth worries that the buffer zone isn't enough to deter possible crimes, but the president of a company hoping to get a federal license to produce the drug insisted it is.

"We're going to have security windows, bars, steel doors, steel gates, double steel doors, more steel gates and then inside where all the product will be housed, will be a Class 8 vault," said Derek Kilburn, the president of the Healthy Plant Corporation.

The Corporation is using an online campaign to raise the $93,000 Kilburn said is needed for the project.

The planning committee is ruling that only industrial and rural industrial zones are appropriate for those production facilities. Full city council gets the final say on February 26th.

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