Health Canada not interested in hearing neighbours' complaints over Westsyde pot operation

Westsyde residents worried about a proposed outdoor cannabis growing facility in their neighbourhood should direct concerns to the applicant, according to Health Canada.

More than a dozen investors, including Bill Bilton Jr., are applying for a growing license to grow cannabis outside on agricultural land adjacent to the Dunes at Kamloops golf course.

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In an email addressing questions from KTW about whether or not neighbours can weigh in on a federal cannabis growing license application currently in the works, Health Canada stated the applicant is “best placed” to address individual concerns.

“Health Canada does from time to time receive comments from the public on license applications,” it stated.

“It is important to note that Health Canada reviews and approves licence applications against specific criteria or requirements set out in the Cannabis Regulations and the Cannabis Licensing Application Guide. The focus of these requirements are physical and personnel security, product quality and record keeping, among others.”

Residents have expressed frustration to this newspaper about feeling in the dark about what is occurring on the property and have concerns, such as the impacts on property values, smell, lights and security.

The applicant told KTW all regulations are being followed.

However, residents point to gaps in regulations about outdoor growing.

The Agricultural Land Commission has deemed cannabis an agricultural crop.

Health Canada restricts emissions of odours from indoor cultivation, which it says “typically has higher plant tensity than outdoor cultivation and can be located anywhere, including in urban areas.”

“Outdoor cultivation of cannabis has been available to license holders since October 2018. Like other agricultural activities, it may produce some odour,” Health Canada said in its statement to KTW.

“Odour from cannabis production is typically limited to a short period during the outdoor growing season when the plants flower.”

Health Canada has approved outdoor cannabis operations at more than 20 sites this past summer. It says it has not received any complaints to date.

© Kamloops This Week


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