To prevent cannabis producers from eating up valuable Agriculture Land Reserve land with permanent structures, Lake Country council approved of new zoning amendments for cannabis that compliment the Agricultural Land Commission.
When the ALC determined that growing cannabis was considered a farm use, there was a push by producers to acquire land within the ALR, which led them to seek permanent structures, according to a report that was presented to council. This meant less land can be used for crop growth.
New regulations state that the growing of cannabis in the soil is still considered to be for farm use, or when using non-permanent structures, but otherwise, buildings must meet the approval of the ALC.
Mayor James Baker said there was little discussion over the zoning amendments during council’s regular meeting Tuesday night, but there was some concern raised over the smell of cannabis production facilities.
“The cannabis production on our border in the City of Kelowna says there won’t be any smell once they get their operation closed in and once their filters are working properly,” Baker said.
The new zoning amendment proposed by district staff will remove buffer requirements between cannabis stores from 400 to 300 metres, as well as remove a provision for permanent foundations as the ALC is now regulating that.
Now the first stages are approved, the zoning amendment will be forwarded to a public hearing.