Clearwater County is making amendments to its Land Use Bylaw to allow for the production of medical marijuana within the county.
At their regular meeting Tuesday Feb. 13, council reviewed and approved the first reading of the amendment to Bylaw 1040/18 to add in some conditions and some guidelines for the production of marijuana.
With the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes set to come into effect July 1, the Clearwater County Planning Department has been researching land use regulations in regards to the production of medical marijuana.
“It is something that we have been receiving some calls on from different developers,” said Clearwater County planner Dustin Bisson. “In the last two years, we have had minimum at least five inquiries and we just haven’t had the bylaws to be able to say, well here’s where you can go.”
The bylaw would also add a definition for a Medical Marijuana Production Facility to account for “the use of land, buildings or structures for the cultivation, processing, testing, and destruction, packaging and shipping of medical marijuana as permitted and licensed by the Federal Government of Canada.”
The proposed bylaw amendments also clarifies that Medical Marijuana Production is not included under existing productions means such as Farming, Farm Building, Farm Subsidiary Business, Green House, Home Occupation or Market Garden.
Bisson says such a facility would be listed as a discretionary use in the three following Land Use Districts: Industrial, Light Industrial and Nordegg Industrial.
“The main thing is to send them to a business park within the County,” he said.
Since council has approved first reading, administration will be sending out referrals to adjacent municipalities to notify them that a public hearing and second and third reading is scheduled to take place March 27.
“After March 27 we should have some where for these facilities to go and it’s nice to know that there is that potential to create that type of business here in the County,” Bisson noted.
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