Cannabis… anyone?

Cannabis… anyone?

So, let’s add another interesting few days to my list. We’re running into some headwinds regarding the medical cannabis production facility in Celista. There is some opposition to the project from a couple of directions but that doesn’t give me the picture from a community perspective.
 
The down side is that the organic medical cannabis facility is covering just over 2 acres of Celista bench farmland with cement in order to create a bio-secure facility (required to make medical grade product). They are using a powerplant on site utilizing ‘hog fuel’ (wood waste unusable by other industries). We don’t know all the technical details of the powerplant as there are proprietary technologies involved. It will likely produce some waste which we’re told will be ash. There is some noise and construction related challenges at this time though once the build out is done there will be no noise/smell/light from the buildings themselves. There is no zoning in Celista so there was no requirement for them to contact neighbours. They say they did try, and they’ve had a public meeting to discuss neighbourhood concerns. The Agricultural Land Commission has decreed that cannabis production facilities should not be located on ALR land, but this project was started prior to that ruling, so they’re able to continue, though this is up for review.
 
The upside is that this is a high-tech, low-impact, certified organic, medical cannabis growing operation. They will use state-of-the art LED lighting (low power consumption), and provide 80+ year round, full-time, good paying jobs in our community along with the associated spinoffs for local stores, restaurants and tax base. Their water is 80% recycled, air totally filtered, no smells/light/pollution will escape. The 2+ acres they’re using is just 6% of the 40 acre lot and they’ll be upgrading the agricultural potential of some of the rest of the lot with their excess worm castings.
 
That’s the basic picture. And just so you know, I’m biased. I was elected just two weeks ago and one of my themes was to create modest growth. I didn’t think I’d be in the middle of a storm so early in my term but here we are. I am open to discussion but so far I am only hearing from one side of the room, and right now I’m fighting this battle alone.
If the community says ‘No’, so be it, but I don’t think that’s the case.
Get off your backside and make a comment! Please…
 
Email me (JSimpson@csrd.bc.ca), or if you want to make your views known to the ALC or CSRD directly, contact the following.
 
Rhona Martin CSRD Chair  RMartin@csrd.bc.ca
Charles Hamilton CSRD Chief Administration Officer  CHamilton@csrd.bc.ca
Gerald Christie CSRD Manager Development Services  GChristie@csrd.bc.ca
Martin Collins ALC Executive Director/Regional Planner Okanagan    Martin.Collins@gov.bc.ca
Please CC me in your email. JSimpson@csrd.bc.ca
 
What's your view?
Do you want to stop further building of this organic medical cannabis production project to save the environment, or keep going to provide jobs and growth in the North Shuswap?

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