It’s so new, in fact, there are currently no development regulations for a proposed “medical cannabis production facility” among the town’s rules.
A prospective cannabis producer, who wishes to start a business in town, met with the town’s public works and planning committee on Aug. 1.
Committee chairman Coun. Bill Bailey says this type of business doesn’t fall under either a permitted or discretionary use in the town’s current development regulations.
“There’s a process we would have to go though to even look at this application,” chief administrative officer David Harris told council at last week’s regular meeting.
The town would have to engage a professional planner to review proposed use class required for a cannabis producer, along with any other implications.
The town will also have to gather information from municipalities in other places in Atlantic Canada.
“There is no approved medical cannabis production facility in Newfoundland right now, so we don’t even have a community we can go to and see how it fits in their development regulations,” said Harris.
It was also made clear at the Aug. 9 council meeting that any cost for changing or creating new regulations will fall to the applicant.
“The applicant would have to undergo an application to amend the town’s development regulations in order to permit the use,” said Coun. Bailey.
Harris says they’ll get a quote from a planner and pass it along to the applicant.
“The cost of the planning review and changes is 100 per cent the (responsibility) of the applicant,” says Harris.
He estimates the cost of a change “of this magnitude” could range from $5,000 to as high as $10,000 — due to possible public consultations, advertising and citizen feedback.
Harris says he will contact the applicant to ensure he’s aware of the complete cost of the endeavour.
“Well, we wouldn’t want it to go up in smoke!” quipped Mayor Frazer Russell, who found it impossible to resist the pun.