Cold Lake Council has scheduled a statutory public hearing prior to considering a motion that could amend the city’s Land Use Bylaw to allow cannabis micro-processing within the City of Cold Lake’s commercial districts.
The Government of Canada’s Cannabis Act and Regulations now allow for micro-processing licences for businesses that will not use more than 600 kilograms of dried cannabis in a year in the production of their product. Cannabis edibles and topicals are some of the products that would typically be produced under such a licence. The products made by such producers cannot be sold directly to the public, but must be sold into the regulated cannabis supply chain for resale through licenced cannabis shops.
Because the micro-processing licences allow for fairly small-scale production, and because there are no public sales of the product, administration has recommended that council consider allowing micro-processors to establish themselves in districts zoned for commercial use, as well as those zoned for light-industrial and heavy-industrial uses.
Micro-growing licences are also allowed under the new regulations, however, administration is recommending that these operations be allowed only in areas zoned for light-industrial or heavy-industrial uses. This is because the cultivation of cannabis, even on the scale allowed by the micro-growing licences, has the potential to create nuisance effects such as odour and high humidity, that could affect adjacent businesses.
The city’s Land Use Bylaw currently allows all cannabis producers only in light industrial or heavy industrial areas. This is because the Federal Cannabis Act and Regulations initially allowed only for very large-scale cannabis producers that would not suit a commercial district.
“This is an exciting new option in the legislation that that has the potential to bring manufacturing jobs to our city,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “The City of Cold Lake is being proactive to ensure that no business opportunities are lost, while also ensuring that businesses are appropriately located so that they do not have a negative impact on their neighbours.”
The Land Use Bylaw amendment, which will have a public hearing during the May 26, 2020 Regular Council Meeting, proposes to create a “Cannabis Micro-Processor” use that would be added as a discretionary use within all zoning districts allowing for commercial, light industrial, or heavy industrial uses. Administration feels that this would allow for the greatest flexibility in finding a suitable location for such businesses, while also ensuring land use compatibility.