Wellington North creating land-use policy to govern cannabis production within the township

·2 min read

WELLINGTON NORTH - Township of Wellington North council is creating a policy on land-use for cannabis farms within its municipal boundary.

At last week’s virtual meeting, Curtis Marshall, manager of development planning for the county, presented the study review of the policy for land-use for cannabis production facilities.

“The purpose of this presentation is to update the township on the status of our review and present details of the background report and next steps moving forward,” said Marshall during the meeting.

“In August of last year, the township council directed staff to undertake the land use planning review of cannabis uses in the township. In September, council passed an interim control bylaw which prohibited new cannabis uses in the township for a one-year period – put in place to allow for cannabis land use planning review to be completed.”

Currently, the phase one of the policy is completed. The next steps will be to determine where cannabis facilities can be operated within the township; which lands are best to use for this industrial facility; what are the zoning standards needed for these facilities; the implementation of cannabis licenses; and more.

The study is proposed to include four main phases:

Part of the policy options is looking into the differing growing mediums such as indoor production and outdoor production; how the policies within the township can be implemented for the different style of production.

Commercial cannabis is most typically grown indoors in greenhouses or other forms of enclosed buildings. Indoor growing requires the input and regulation of moisture, light, heating or cooling and ventilation to support the growth of the plants.

Meanwhile, outdoor productions can be cost saving but can be hard to maintain as it can be easily impacted by the weather.

Councillor Steve McCabe wondered if other county municipalities have specific regulations with its cannabis production policies or any struggles they may have faced with it.

“We did review the municipal zoning bylaws within the county. Puslinch does provide for cannabis facilities in limited circumstances in the industrial areas but only for medical purposes. Erin also has some limited permissions for them with some setbacks with medical uses,” explained Marshall.

“Other municipalities are generally silent on cannabis use. They don’t necessarily speak to them. In terms of having issues, there’s not any problems county municipalities face unlike other municipalities in Ontario.”

The date and time for the public meeting for the zoning bylaw and the policy on land-use for cannabis facilities is still unknown.

Angelica Babiera, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com

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