Council has passed an interim control bylaw preventing any cannabis cultivation operations from setting up shop in many parts of the municipality over the next year.
The bylaw was approved following a brief presentation from consultant Kent Randall during a special meeting of council Monday (April 8) afternoon.
In addition to prohibiting new applications, the bylaw would also restrict potential expansions of existing operations but does not apply to areas that are zoned for industrial uses for the period of 12 months.
“A year should be ample time to implement a permanent bylaw,” said Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden.
Over the course of the next few months, the Township will also conduct a land-use compatibility study to help provide the framework for the permanent bylaw.
Council directed staff to look into the possibility of passing an interim control back in January, after passing a motion requesting that Health Canada not renew any applications until municipal concerns about odour control and security are met.
A month prior, councillors had requested a meeting with Health Canada related to concerns surrounding a medicinal cannabis operation on Concession 11. A second facility, located on Concession 4 Thorah, was robbed at gunpoint back in October.
“We’ve had security issues in Brock. We’ve had odour control issues in Brock,” Mayor Bath-Hadden said at the time.
In addition to the two local sites that are already up-and-running, Mayor Bath-Hadden also that she’s heard rumblings that a medicinal cannabis company has also expressed an interest in a 200-acre property in the Beaverton area.
“We’re not suggesting – we’re demanding – that they not renew another license until we get the information we asked for,” Mayor Bath-Hadden said.
While Township staff have reached out to Health Canada, no response has been received.
“The federal government is not always that forthcoming,” CAO/Clerk Thom Gettinby told members of council in January.
“I think this (motion) might get their attention,” quipped Ward 5 Councillor Lynn Campbell.
To date, no response from Health Canada has been received.