Plans to open cannabis farms rolling along in Springwater

·2 min read

Plans to open cannabis farms are rolling right along.

The clock is ticking down on an interim control bylaw adopted on June 3, 2020, freezing cannabis growing and manufacturing for one year.

Mayor Don Allen’s concerns — and those of all townships whose interim control bylaws were put in place to allow local regulations to catch up to federal legislation — are plenty.

“We’ll want teeth in the zoning bylaw,” said Allen at an April 21 council meeting. “If they are too general, we have no power for recourse. With the official plan, some items are too general and regulations needed to be set out in bylaws.”

Allen worries about lights shining on neighbouring farms too brightly. He’s concerned about security and power sources, such as loud generators, and he’s worried about odours, which can be somewhat mitigated by a distancing buffer of 150 metres around the perimeter of the growing operation, he said.

“That 150-metre berm helps to reduce that odour, but it’s not like manure on the field. After a short time that goes away, but not with cannabis. These are very lucrative operations once they get up and running, so there is no shortage of needs we must address,” said Allen.

A little farther north, Oro-Medonte Township is facing similar growing pains.

A Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) hearing was held April 23 to determine if the three would-be-growers or appellants — Organibis, Carmel Pharms and 2541005 Ontario Ltd. — could be addressed as a group or if each prospective grower would have to appeal individually.

“Certainly, all three appeals could be heard in one hearing,” said Stephen Nadler, solicitor for 2541005 Ontario Ltd., at the hearing. “The evidence could apply to other appellants given the common interests here.”

The decision to include all three appellants was given approval and LPAT set aside an 11-day hearing date of March 22, 2022, said Oro-Medonte spokesperson Jenny Legget.

Springwater’s recommendations for both industrial and agricultural zoning requirements must be ready for review at the statutory public meeting to be held May 31.

Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance