M.D. of Bonnyville passes bylaw for any future cannabis facility

The M.D. of Bonnyville passed their land-use bylaw for potential future cannabis production facilities last week.

Any future cannabis production facility on M.D. would have to be on a parcel of land greater than 10 acres. It will only be allowed on land zoned as rural industrial, rural commercial, and agricultural.

The conversation in public hearing steered towards a resident asking if the M.D. would look at massaging the minimum requirements of 10 acres of land needed.

He was looking to set-up a “micro” pot shop in the future on his six acres.

The council followed a lawyer’s recommendation to not re-open the land requirements and wait to see if more guidance comes from higher levels of government.

“It’s easier to allow something in the future, then throw it wide-open from the beginning,” said Reeve Greg Sawchuk.

“I think for folks who are looking into growing, there’s a lot of research in regards to security. Even the companies that are transporting the product…there’s a lot that has to be in place.”

Like a lot of municipal discussion on cannabis in the months leading up to legalization, Sawchuk feels the province and federal government “dropped the ball” in guiding legislation.

“It’s going to be a moving target for municipalities, and you’re probably going to see bylaws change in the next few years, as we become more used to it.

“I think the province probably dropped the ball in not coming down with a blanket statement saying this is the best practice your municipality could use, but they didn’t. They left it wide open,” he said.