MedCan to seek Health Canada approval for medical marijuana facility

MedCan Solutions Inc. cleared its first hurdle at city council on Monday to develop a medical marijuana facility in Red Deer — next comes its application to Health Canada.

MedCan Solutions Inc. cleared its first hurdle at city council on Monday to develop a medical marijuana facility in Red Deer — next comes its application to Health Canada.

“It’s about an 18 to 24-month process historically with Health Canada in terms of approvals. There are different levels of approval through the application,” said Wendy Konschuk, co-founder and director of MedCan Solutions, on Tuesday.

She said nothing has been submitted to Health Canada yet as MedCan was waiting for city council to approve a land use bylaw amendment to allow the proposed facility in a business industrial-zoned area.

MedCan Solutions Inc. intends to use a 35,000-square-foot vacant building in the West QE2 Business Park to grow, process, package, label, store and transport marijuana. There were would no retail sales, signs or advertising at the site.

City council initially rejected the application in July because of questions about mostly odour and security.

Konschuk said MedCan will work on development permits with the city and its application to Health Canada at the same time.

She hoped renovations on the building could begin in six months, but right now it was difficult to predict.

MedCan changed its plans for the Red Deer facility since July and will now focus more on research and less on production.

“We have decided we can reduce our actual production and do testing on all sorts of levels inside that facility.”

A larger production facility will be located elsewhere in Alberta.

At Monday’s public hearing on the project, odour was a big fear for neighbouring business and land owners.

She said misconceptions about medical marijuana production come from issues in the United States were regulations aren’t as stringent.

“Everyone has kind of got in their minds it’s going to stink. That’s a hard one to steer them away from and convince them otherwise until you’re producing,” Konschuk said.

She said odour would not be a problem even if production was the main purpose of the facility. MedCan plans to go over and above what Health Canada requires with both a High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) and carbon filter installed. The federal government only requires the HEPA filter.

But switching the focus to research likely helped secure approval from the city, she said.

One issue discussed at the hearing that surprised Konschuk was the frustration among business owners about crime in the business park located on the west side of Hwy 2.

“That was actually really eye-opening for us. Some of the businesses were happy to have an opportunity to talk about it and have the City of Red Deer recognize that they’re facing some real issues.”

She said filling one of the many empty buildings out there and bringing more workers to the area will have a positive impact. MedCan itself will have a multi-layer security system.

“We’re really looking forward to working with the businesses, and surrounding business, to see what we can all do together to help end that.”

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

Just Posted

File photo
Gov’t of Alberta identifies estimated 300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

Online COVID-19 dashboard unavailable as upgrades being completed

The Central Alberta Freestyle Ski Club is hoping to win $50,000 through the Mackenzie Investments Top Peak contest. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta ski club trying to win $50K in online contest

A central Alberta ski club has entered a contest where it can… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

Ben King scores for the Red Deer Rebels during the third period of a Western Hockey League game against the Calgary Hitmen at the Westerner Park Centrium Saturday. (Photo by Rob Wallator/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels complete comeback to pick up first win of season

Rebels 3 Hitmen 2 (OT) The Red Deer Rebels were able to… Continue reading

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan takes part in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa on December 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives to call top Sajjan, Trudeau aides to testify on Vance allegations

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives plan to summon two senior Liberal aides… Continue reading

Elvira D'Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Several provinces were preparing to loosen COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, as Canada’s… Continue reading

Mount Pearl Senior High in Mount Pearl, N.L., remains closed on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The provincial health authority says there were 185 cases at 22 schools, including 145 infections among staff and students of one high school in Mount Pearl that was an early epicentre of the outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
In Newfoundland and Labrador, three ingredients made for explosive COVID-19 outbreak

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — With her classes, three part-time jobs and a… Continue reading

A passenger places a tag on luggage at the departure terminal at Toronto Pearson Airport, in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, May 24, 2019. The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many recent immigrants to leave Canada and return to their countries of origin, where they have more social and familial connections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
COVID-19 pandemic prompts recent newcomers to leave Canada for their home countries

OTTAWA — The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Rail cars wait for pickup in Winnipeg, Sunday, March 23, 2014. The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian oil and gas on trains destined for the United States — a country experts fear is ill-equipped for the potential consequences. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
As debate rages over cross-border pipelines, U.S. analysts brace for more oil by rail

WASHINGTON — The fierce debate over cross-border pipelines is putting more Canadian… Continue reading

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

VICTORIA — Legal experts and a mother whose ex-partner was convicted of… Continue reading

Radio and television personality Dick Smyth is shown in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO
Dick Smyth, Canadian maestro of news radio commentary, dies at 86

TORONTO — Radio and television personality Dick Smyth, whose booming commentary filled… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

Most Read