LOGAN LAKE, B.C. — A plot of Crown land located in the Logan Lake Industrial Park is slated to become the site of a large greenhouse operation, but it won't contain your average house plants.
MedFlora Pharmaceutical Inc. has submitted an application to purchase land at 184 Apex Drive for the purpose of constructing a medicinal plant greenhouse.
"What they're talking about is doing a 400,000 sq. ft. greenhouse for medicinal plants, and then complimenting that would be a 25,000 sq. ft. cannabis facility for the production and processing of cannabis and some office space," said the District's Chief Administrative Officer Randy Lambright.
MedFlora Pharmaceutical Inc. will work in collaboration with the Lower Nicola Indian Band. Band members will assist in site preparation services and facility operations.
The larger greenhouse space is scheduled to be in operation by spring of 2019.
"The nursery/greenhouse is permitted by zoning for them to be able to go ahead and do that," Lambright said. "If they wanted to do the cannabis component they would have to come back for a rezoning application, and they would have to comply with the regulations as outlined in the Official Community Plan."
Lambright says the greenhouse could benefit Logan Lake by diversifying the economy, bringing in new jobs, and increasing tax revenue, but some residents are concerned.
"To put that in here our housing prices are going to go down, our water is going to go down," said concerned resident Bonnie Ryde. "We had problems when they put in the golf course with the water, so this is going to make even more problems."
"I moved here for one reason only: mountain air, fresh water, and lots of hiking," added Larry Garbe, who recently moved to the community. "A lot of that's going to go to pot, literally. We've got lights that we're going to have to deal with, the smell, the fans."
"Why Logan Lake?" asked Logan Lake resident Lucy Vandenberg. "And why also in the industrial area? I would have thought that this would be something for an agricultural zone, because it's not far from our school."
Concerns are also mounting about a perceived lack of communication with community members.
"I was kind of surprised that our community hadn't advised us in any way," said Deb Endean. "I know that last year there had been an open house for the Official Community Plan, and within that community plan there was a bylaw that was specific to grow operations, and council said they generally approved that, prior to that I was not aware."
Lambright says there is still room for discussion on the proposed cannabis facility, and a public hearing will take place after a rezoning application has been submitted.
"Once we get past the philosophical component of it then you then start dealing with, okay, what site specific elements are there?" Lambright said. "Is there noise associated with it? Is there odour? Is there a light? What kind of traffic are we going to see? What kind of water impact are we going to see, in other words how much water are they going to use? What's the proximity to our social services and schools and those types of things?
"That's what the official community plan really addresses in the sense of deal with those types of issues when you're coming in with your proposal, and then this could be the appropriate location for a cannabis facility."
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