Updated: Red Deer County rejects cannabis production complex

Updated: Red Deer County rejects cannabis production complex

Complex was proposed for Blindman Industrial Park

A proposed cannabis production complex was rejected by Red Deer County on Tuesday because it was too close to homes.

The 190,000-square-foot production facility would be comprised of a series of buildings, including sealed production facilities, on 10 acres of a 90-acre site in Blindman Industrial Park, just west of Red Deer.

However, a number of residents living in a nearby subdivision voiced their opposition to the project, fearing it would smell, reduce property values and could attract crime.

In a letter to the county, Grant Price says he owns property within 500 metres of the proposed facility, which if allowed to proceed could devalue his land by as much as half.

Price owns three Harley Davidson dealerships, including Red Deer’s and one in Kelowna, B.C., which is within 500 metres of a cannabis production facility. The smell when that facility vents is “outrageous,” he says in his letter.

The county’s municipal planning commission, which includes all of council, voted 6-1 against the project. Coun. Philip Massier voted in favour.

Coun. Christine Moore said she is not opposed to cannabis production facilities setting up in the county.

“But it has to be in the right place, and this is not the right place,” Moore said.

“When this is built, it will never go away and we have an obligation to our ratepayers.”

Mayor Jim Wood said the industrial park where the facility would go is an “anomaly” because of the nearby residential subdivision.

“(The project) kind of fits the zoning, but it doesn’t fit the reality,” said Wood.

The mayor said the smell could prove to be an issue, noting the proponents could not guarantee there would be no odours released.

“I don’t hear zero smell. I’m hearing there will be some smell.

“I think we have (industrial) parks that would suit this development really well.”

Coun. Philip Massier said while the project was a tough call, the developers said they could meet all of the county’s conditions and the project would be built in an area where other industrial businesses have been operating.

“I don’t know where we should tell our applicants where they have to go.”

Sunny Sarpal, vice-president of Calgary-based Sevenz Consulting and Centcom Construction, was disappointed with council’s decision and said they plan to appeal to the county’s subdivision and development appeal board. In the meantime, they will also review the project to see if the county’s concerns can be addressed.

Sarpal said the project would have provided an economic boost to the region and served as a centre that could be used by those in every aspect of the cannabis industry, from production to research.

The first phase of the project was to include a number of buildings, including production facilities, presentation centre and security units. Cannabis facilities would be sealed from the outside and would exceed all Health Canada regulations.

For security, the complex would be built almost to prison-level specifications, including a three-metre perimeter fence and 24-hour security.

“From the security, down to the actual facilities itself, these would be purpose-based facilities — medical-grade, food-grade, finished facilities — where one can actually be safe and environmentally work in a controlled environment,” said Sarpal.

“At the end of the day, a project like this could provide up to 3,000 jobs, quite a lot of economic development and provide a lot of opportunity.”



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Red Deer County

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Updated: Red Deer County rejects cannabis production complex

Just Posted

Eva Pennock got an unlikely visit from a horse at a Three Hills Health Care Centre. (Photo courtesy of Jamie Pennock)
Unlikely visitor brings cheer to residents at Three Hills Health Care Centre

An unlikely visitor spread some cheer and good tidings this week at… Continue reading

(File photo by Advocate staff)
Zero tax increase approved by Red Deer city council for 2021 and 2022

City council passed operating budgets for the next two years on Thursday

Red Deer city council approved a $39.6 million police budget for 2021, up for inflationary reasons from $37.9 million in 2020. (Black Press file photo).
Red Deer city council retains police funding, while also launching a crisis team

De-funding police is not a conversation in this municipality

Alberta reported an additional 1,854 cases of COVID-19 Thursday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories)
Red Deer has 289 active cases of COVID-19

Province now has 17,743 active cases

The Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre in Red Deer has new owners. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Cambridge Hotel in Red Deer has new ownership group

‘They’re making an investment in this iconic hotel for the future,’ says general manager Gil Vallee

Dan Cochrane, senior pastor at CrossRoads Church. Contributed photo
CrossRoads Church closes its doors for two weeks after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

CrossRoads Church made the decision to cancel in-house services for two weeks… Continue reading

Police are on the lookout for Hugo Strohschein, 85, was last seen shortly before 10 p.m. on Dec. 3 in Red Deer. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer RCMP)
Red Deer RCMP seek help to locate missing 85-year-old man

The Red Deer RCMP is hoping for the public’s help to locate… Continue reading

A masked worker walks behind a hiring sign on his way into the Dover Cliffs long term care home in Port Dover, Ont., Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. Statistics Canada will say this morning how Canada's job market fared last month as COVID-19 case counts rose along with a new round of public health restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian economy added 62,000 jobs in November, Statistics Canada says

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the economy added 62,000 jobs in November… Continue reading

Bank towers are shown from Bay Street in Toronto's financial district, on Wednesday, June 16, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrien Veczan
North American stocks up in early trading, loonie tops 78 cents US

TORONTO — Gains in the mining and metals sector helped lift Canada’s… Continue reading

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori delivers a speech after an opening plenary session of the three-party meeting on Tokyo 2020 Games additional costs due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Tokyo, Friday, Dec 4, 2020. (Kazuhiro Nogi/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics delay costs may reach $2.8 billion

TOKYO — The cost of the postponement for the Tokyo Olympics could… Continue reading

President-elect Joe Biden departs a news conference after introducing his nominees and appointees to economic policy posts at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Among first acts, Biden to call for 100 days of mask-wearing

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden said Thursday that he will ask Americans to… Continue reading

FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2013, file photo of A.P. Moller-Maersk’s oil rig in the North Sea named Halfdan. Denmark has decided to end to all oil and gas offshore activities in the North Sea by 2050 and has cancelled its latest licensing round, saying the country is “now putting an end to the fossil era.” The Danish Parliament voted late Thursday to end the offshore gas and oil extraction that started in 1972 and has made it the largest producer in the European Union. (Claus Bonnerup/Polfoto via AP,file)
Denmark to end oil, gas extraction in North Sea

COPENHAGEN — Denmark has decided to end all oil and gas activities… Continue reading

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country’s merchandise trade deficit was $3.8 billion in October as both exports and imports climbed higher. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Statistics Canada says merchandise trade deficit held stead in October at $3.8B

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the country’s merchandise trade deficit held steady… Continue reading

An employee works in a warehouse with dry ice outside at the Pfizer Manufacturing plant in Puurs, Belgium, on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. British officials on Wednesday authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, greenlighting the world’s first shot against the virus that’s backed by rigorous science and taking a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)
UK defends vaccine decision amid criticism it moved too fast

LONDON — U.K. regulators went on the offensive Friday to beat back… Continue reading

Most Read