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

Saanich Police respond to petition for new police agency on Lindsay Buziak murder case

Petition asks Public Safety Minister to to help find justice for slain realtor

Petition calls for suspension of Victoria councillor over legislature protest comments

Ben Isitt says petition ‘does not provide a reliable barometer of public opinion’

BC Ferries named one of B.C.’s top employers

Health benefits, vacation time and retirement planning cited as top perks

VIDEO: Vancouver Island teen’s Make-A-Wish send-off fit for a galaxy not so far away

Campbell River’s Mattias Beck, 15, received an extra special start at the Comox Valley airport

OPINION: Reformed or not, ICBC is still a monopoly. Why?

“It’s past time that politicians do the right thing: they need to end the ICBC monopoly”

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Suspect at large after stealing seaplane before crashing into another in Vancouver

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday at Vancouver Harbour

PHOTOS: 2020 BC Winter Games kick off in Fort St. John

More than 1,000 of B.C.’s best athletes will be competing over the next three days

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

‘Usain Bolt he was not’: B.C. gang police seize drugs, cash after foot chase

‘The man took off running when he saw our officers approaching,’ CFSEU BC says

Canadians released from coronavirus-ridden cruise ship in Japan fly home

Those who were cleared to travel are to be screened again at Canadian Forces Base Trenton

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Trudeau promises update on blockades as Wet’suwet’en chiefs meet Mohawk supporters

B.C. hereditary chiefs are thanking the Mohawks for supporting them in opposition to Coastal GasLink

Most Read