The final decision rests with New Brunswick’s minister of the environment and will be rendered after a public hearing on Jan. 8.
Gina Brown and her partner, Jared, are licensed to grow cannabis on the land that they own in Coverdale, N.B., but the neighbours aren’t necessarily on board.
The couple wants to take things a step further and build a production facility for indoor cultivation. They applied for a building permit to break ground on the project, but the permit was denied. The reason? Their land, which is designated as agricultural, must now be re-zoned as industrial.
“In July, we got confirmation from Health Canada saying everything was approved, now. You just need to put together the site evidence package,” Anchor Cannabis co-owner Brown told CTV News. “So, at that point, it’s like everything looks good, just show us your building.”
But although growing cannabis outdoors is considered agriculture, growing indoors is not. That means the couple has now applied to rezone their land, which entails sending a letter to neighbours regarding the potential change.
And while some neighbours were chill, many locals expressed concerns online. Concerns primarily revolved around potential odours, despite living in agriculturally zoned land where farm odours are already present.
Brown noted that sales would be limited to clients such as provincial retailer Cannabis NB, and that the indoor facility would be a financial boon for their business.
“We’re talking about harvesting every month versus harvesting once a year,” Brown said. “Financially, it’s a game-changer.”
The final decision rests with New Brunswick’s environment minister and will be rendered after a public hearing on Jan. 8.
The stigma that persists with regard to cultivating cannabis has been an issue all over Canada. The potential smell of cannabis that neighbours’ farms might product is often high on the list, even in communities with odour-emitting farms like cattle, swine and lavender.
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Written by Emma Spears