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Aug. 3, 2020 | Monday
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Outdoor cannabis facility proposed for Airport Road
Coun. Wendy Cheropita and Coun. Stuart McCormack sit at the committee of the whole meeting on July 8. Both councillors, along with Coun. Erwin Wiens, are part of the town's sub-committee working on a cannabis bylaw. (Dariya Baiguzhiyeva/Niagara Now)

An outdoor cannabis operation has been proposed on Airport Road in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Nicholas Dell, a planning consultant of Harper Dell and Associates, made a delegation to the town’s committee of the whole Monday night to speak on behalf of his client and also address several concerns, including regarding lights, noise, odour and security, brought up by residents and members of the agricultural committee.

The proposed 10-acre facility would have a hoop building, 20 feet tall and 40 feet wide, surrounded by a screening fence. The security plan is mandated by Health Canada, said Dell.

The seasonal operation would take place from April to October. The plant would be outside for three months of the year, then it would be brought inside for drying, extraction and packaging, Dell said, but there may be an odour while the plant is outside.

“Smell is, probably, the greatest impact indicator for this use and the greatest threat to people concerned living close to something like that,” Dell said adding that with minimum distance separation requirements and odour mitigating measurements, such as fog cannons or smell diffusers, the smell can be alleviated.

The sun-grown plant, which would be grown on open soil, would also be used for squeezing for oil, he said. Coun. Clare Cameron asked if the plants require pesticide spraying to which Dell replied that it can be used if it conforms to the intent.

As Health Canada requires the plant to be packaged on site, Cameron noted, “there is no apparent agricultural production of cannabis that would only be an agricultural activity.”

“Anyone of these facilities will introduce the further usage of industrial activity on agricultural lands that otherwise could grow fruit,” she said.

Dell objected saying processing facilities are “quintessential for agricultural uses.”

Earlier in June, town council extended an interim cannabis bylaw prohibiting new cannabis operations and expansions within the municipality for one more year.

Dell said he was advised to speak before the committee of the whole before making a presentation to the town’s cannabis sub-committee, consisting of Coun. Stuart McCormack, Coun. Wendy Cheropita and Coun. Erwin Wiens.

The councillors didn’t make a decision regarding Dell’s presentation as they didn’t complete their agenda by 11 p.m. The town then voted to resume the meeting on Wednesday, July 10, at 5 p.m.