Future of Pine Lake-area medical marijuana facility in question

Application withdrawn from Red Deer County Municipal Planning Commission agenda

A medical marijuana facility in Red Deer County may still go ahead despite its permit application being removed at the last minute at the county’s Municipal Planning Commission meeting Tuesday.

Just before the meeting got underway, commission members were informed the applicant, Agrafina Corporation, had requested to be withdrawn from the agenda.

No explanation was given to commission members.

But the application for a development permit continues, and the item may be brought back to a future municipal planning commission meeting.

The family-run company, is seeking to build a 53,000-square-foot medical marijuana facility on a piece of rural land about 30 kilometres east of Innisfail. The facility will employ 10 people.

A meeting last week at the Glenellen Community Centre, near the proposed site near the intersection of Range Road 254 and Twp. Road 360, drew about 70 concerned area residents. They voiced concerns about the water drawn from local aquifers, odour, noise, and the fear of attracting crime.

Five letters of concern were received by the municipal planning commission ahead of Tuesday’s meeting. They voiced concerns about the odour, crime, impact on local aquifers, the use of pesticides and other chemicals, noise from the operations and dust from vehicles coming and going to the plant.

In the proposed outcomes, the municipal planning commission administrative report outlined 26 conditions that would lead to approval of the development permit application.

Conditions included: landscape, lighting, ventilation and drainage plans; not emitting nuisance odour, noise or light; a fire inspection, and timelines for completion of painting and landscaping. County administration recommended approving the discretionary use development permit.

In a letter of support included in the municipal planning commission agenda, Rosina Smith, on behalf of Agrafina Corporation, wrote that it is her family and company’s intent to be open and transparent and to work collaboratively with the County and the community.

“I am confident that once the operation is up and running that all questions, issues and challenges will be allayed and that this development will provide economic value to the County,” she wrote.

Agrafina Corporation could not be reached for comment as of Tuesday evening.

mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

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