Erin holds public meeting on cannabis zoning

There were no comments at a March 20 public meeting for zoning amendments for cannabis production facilities.

County planner Sarah Wilhelm presented a report that includes proposed definitions and regulations for medical marijuana production facilities.

“I think the town has been very proactive in addressing this issue,” she said, noting council’s Dec. 12 decision to define and regulate cannabis production in the zoning bylaw.

Since then, the province confirmed it will be responsible for cannabis dispensing, so no regulations for dispensing were proposed.

Wilhelm also stated the regulations were for medical cannabis only, as marijuana has not yet been legalized.

Part of the draft regulations include:

– a building in the light and general industrial zones must be 70 metres away from a residential, institutional or open space zone;

– a building in the agricultural or rural industrial zone must be 150 metres away from a residential, institutional or open space zone;

– the facility must be located within a wholly enclosed building (outdoor storage prohibited);

– buildings are only allowed in permitted zones and are subject to site plan control;

– security buildings may be located in setback zones;

– no minor variances permitted; and

– a medical marijuana production facility shall only be permitted in the agricultural, light industrial, general industrial or rural industrial zones.

Wilhem said the report was given to agencies and town department heads, but no comments were received.

Councillor Jeff Duncan asked if the setbacks are too restrictive.

“You don’t want your bylaw to be challenged that you’ve introduced a setback that effectively, when you implement it, it means you’ve restricted the use,” he said.

“Whether you agree with or don’t agree with use of it, it’s kind of a moot point now; the government said it’s legal so you need to look at it (as if) it’s a business coming to town, and they wish to operate.”

Duncan also asked if there would be any mitigation efforts for the odor, but councillor Rob Smith compared it to manure smell.

“There’s nothing you can really do about it,” said Smith.

Mayor Allan Alls said, “The good thing is now we will know where the medical marijuana facilities are; we weren’t allowed to know before.”

No public comments

There were no comments from the public.

Wilhelm said a report will be brought back to council for approval in the near future.

Councillor John Brennan was absent.