A 57,000 square foot medical marijuana research and production facility is being proposed for a lot on Beaver Creek Road. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Agricultural Land Commission approves cannabis facility near Port Alberni

Proposed facility had been caught up in ALR red tape

The province’s Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) has approved a controversial application for a medical marijuana facility in Beaver Creek in the Alberni Valley.

The applicant, Moni Sadeghi of Premium Cannabis Meds BC, was in the process of obtaining a building permit for the 57,000-square foot research and production facility back in 2018, when a moratorium on cement-based, industrial-style cannabis production facilities in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) came down from the ALC. Sadeghi was forced to apply for a non-farm use exemption for the plot of ALR land.

The proposal has been met with opposition from neighbours along Beaver Creek Road, who point out that the area includes a “dense cluster” of houses along a narrow street with no sidewalk or streetlights. The proposed facility will also be located directly across the street from Kackaamin, an addiction treatment facility.

Because of the controversy, the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) agreed last February to pass the application on to the ALC for a decision.

READ MORE: Alberni Valley residents pan pot proposal for ALR

READ MORE: Application for Beaver Creek cannabis facility passed on to province

Documents on the ALC website show that a site visit took place in September. The property will include two levels of fencing and a parking lot that will accommodate up to 19 vehicles, although Sadeghi does “not anticipate that there will be more than a couple of staff working at any given time.” The property is on metered water with the city of Port Alberni, and all runoff water will be addressed through an internal drainage system. All water displaced by the building itself will be drained by ditches into Beaver Creek.

The facility will also use high-efficiency air (HEPA) filters to address odour concerns.

In her application, Sadeghi noted that she had made “major financial commitments” up until July 13, 2018, when the moratorium came down from the ALC.

“Had we been told that we would not be able to grow indoors we would not have made these major commitments,” she said.

The decision from the ALC states that all forms of cannabis production are a farm use, although “certain other activities associated with cannabis production, such as fill placement or soil removal to construct a structure for farm use, may still require Commission approval.”

Sadeghi’s application was approved, after the ALC’s executive committee considered the size of the facility and determined that the amount of fill requested “is not excessive” based on the facility’s footprint.

The placement of fill must be overseen by a qualified registered professional with specific knowledge of soils, drainage and fill placement, added the committee.

A call to the ACRD was not returned by press time.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

cannabis

Just Posted

Bride thankful ailing stepdad was able to walk her down the aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

One in custody after two men stabbed in Victoria

Police arrest suspect morning after stabbings on Pandora Avenue

Island Sikh community donates 800 meals to frontline workers

Volunteers out handing out prepared meals to grateful Cowichan District Hospital workers

Mill Bay students petition for formal graduation

“We have a few realistic ideas in mind that could provide a safe and healthy grad celebration”

Province pays $4.08 million for hotel to house fire victims

Purchase will provide 41 units of affordable rental housing for those displaced by the fire.

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Inquest into death of Jocelyn George postponed due to COVID-19

Coroner’s inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni woman was supposed to start July 6

ICET provides Qualicum Beach with $250K for East Village project

Town expects revitalization plan to attract more developments

Comox Valley RCMP impound six vehicles in six days in May

All drivers were found to be going at least 47 km/h over the speed limit

Person finds bag of drugs while out for walk in Langford

Police ask residents, drivers to check surveillance footage

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Most Read