Production manager Shawn McDougall shows a cannabis flower after its been harvested and dried at Blissco Cannabis Corp. in Langley, B.C., on October 9, 2018. StatCan will release crowd-sourced cannabis prices for the third quarter on Wednesday. The agency reported in July that the average cost of a gram of cannabis from the illicit market continues to drop as legal prices rise, with legal weed costing $10.65 compared to the black market price of $5.93. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

Mirror cannabis production facility approved on appeal

Lacombe County municipal planning commission initially turned down project because of nearby homes

A central Alberta cannabis production facility can go ahead after its proponents won their appeal.

Lacombe County’s subdivision and development appeal board overturned a municipal planning commission decision to reject the application by Silver Mountain Cannabis to produce marijuana in three 2,100-square-foot buildings on the west side of Mirror.

The application had been narrowly defeated in a 3-3 vote.

Those against the project, which would also include an office building, said it was too close to nearby homes and “may cause undue nuisance to neighbouring landowners.”

Odour was one of the key concerns of the commission.

In its appeal, Silver Mountain argued that it will employ an odour elimination system to kill microorganisms and decompose volatile organic compounds to eliminate and neutralize odours.

Odours are only emitted during the eight-week flowering window, it said, and during that time, odour-reducing units will be working to eliminate smell and mould.

Proponents also pointed out that the zoning, which was recently amended to include cannabis production as a discretionary use, allowed for developments of this kind.

Had the public not been made aware of the application, no one would have been aware the facility was used for cannabis production, they suggest.

“Micro-production facilities are designed not to smell and are an environmentally friendly and sustainable business that could operate for many years in the community,” says the appeal board decision report.

The facility will employ six to 10 people, including 24-hour security staff.

In its approval, the appeal board said the business must be “operated at all times in a manner that does not cause nuisance for surrounding residents due to noise, light, odour, excessive traffic or anything else of dangerous or objectionable nature …” as determined by the county.

A three-year development permit was approved, which will be reviewed annually, and the facility must comply with all federal and provincial regulations.

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