Medical marijuana production facility clears Charlottetown council

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Marijuana clone plants that are used to grow medical marijuana are displayed under a light in this Canadian Press file photo.

Application to build a 14,000-square-foot facility at BioCommons park still needs approval from provincial committee

CHARLOTTETOWN – Charlottetown city council gave third and final reading to the medical marijuana facility issue on Monday night.

That completes the process of adding the definition of a medical marijuana production facility to the city's zoning and development bylaw.

And, it essentially ends council's involvement in the matter. Third reading is the last chance for debate, amendments and voting.

Coun. Rob Lantz, chairman of planning, reiterated at council's regular public meeting that by adding the definition of the facility to the zoning and development bylaw the city is able to restrict where one can be built.

Edwin Jewell, owner of Jewell's Country Market in York, confirmed earlier this week that he is one of 10 investors in the new operation that he hopes will be inspected and running by the fall.

The facility will be built in the P.E.I. BioCommons area in Charlottetown.

Starting in April, Canadians who use medical marijuana won't be able to grow it themselves or buy it from Health Canada. Instead they will have to register with a licensed producer. Currently, Health Canada has 10 licensed producers on its website.

The new facility will operate under the name Canada's Island Garden Inc. and start by employing about 15 people in a 14,000-square-foot space in the BioCommons.

The BioCommons is located in one of the city's comprehensive development areas (CDA zone), which allows for a number of different uses. The property is governed by a committee appointed by the provincial government but adheres to a strict set of covenants, Lantz said, and all applications are thoroughly reviewed.

Compared to his other business ventures, Jewell said there is a lot of bureaucracy to deal with and a number of hoops to jump through. The process to get a licence is rigorous, including Health Canada wanting security clearances for people who will be on site and asking the company to submit a security plan.

Jewell said it will cost about $4 million to get up and running.

The city received an application for a building permit from Jewell and his group about two weeks ago but that application has yet to receive necessary approval from the provincial BioCommons committee.

Organizations: Health Canada, Charlottetown council, Island Garden BioCommons committee

Geographic location: Country Market, York, P.E.I. BioCommons Charlottetown Canada

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