Large scale marijuana facilities in industrial zones get green light

Company already planning to invest $125 million create 220 jobs in OK falls

Despite urging from several regional directors to slow down the process, large-scale production of medical marijuana will be allowed in industrial zones in the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen.

After a public meeting in the morning and a lengthy debate in the afternoon, regional directors passed third reading of the bylaw amendment to allow cannabis production as a permitted use in industrial zones.

Voting against the amendment were director Tom Siddon, Area D (Kaleden/OK Falls), Elef Christensen, Area G (Rural Keremeos/Hedley) and George Bush, Area B (Cawston).

Siddon spoke at length about his opposition to allowing cannabis production facilities in industrial areas and his general opposition to recreational marijuana use.

“The question is why are we rushing this?” Siddon asked just moments before the vote. “It’s important that the public be consulted.”

RELATED: Okanagan Falls Industrial Park no place for pot: Siddon

Siddon took offence to the amount of time allowed for a presentation by Duncan Gordon, chief executive officer for Sunniva Inc. during the public meeting Thursday morning. Sunniva Inc. is interested in building two large greenhouse facilities at the old Weyerhauser mill site in OK Falls.

“Why rush to ramrod this through and put it through,” Siddon said. “Half the public meeting time was spent advocating for that project. That isn’t fair. The public is confused.”

Gordon presented plans during the public hearing outlining the company plans to invest about $125 million into the area and create 220 jobs.

The investment would include building two greenhouses similar to ones being built in Cathedral City, Calif. One of the greenhouses would be 124,000 square feet in size, while the other would be 290,000 sq. ft in size and an administration building would be about 26,000 sq. ft.

“The intent for this facility is not retail sales. It is my understanding that there has been some challenges in particular to OK Falls area with retail sales and cannabis. That is not our intent for this facility. This is purely for the manufacturing and cultivation of medical grade cannabis,” he said.

Karla Kozakevich, chair of the RDOS, said during the last RDOS meeting the consensus of the board was to allow cannabis production in industrial zones to encourage those in that business not to use agriculture land for large warehouse type operations.

“It can go on agriculture land right now and we think it’s better suited to go in industrial zones,” she said.

At this point, Sunniva Inc. has not yet applied for any permits from the RDOS and it’s also publicly been stated the company is also looking at land in the Osoyoos Indian Band industrial park.

RELATED: B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Just Posted

B.C. father and sons launch new trunk-sharing system, ‘Trunkit’

Smiths say peer-to-peer shipping service offers an affordable, green alternative

Summerland thrift store to offer reusable cloth bags

Bags at Summerland Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store will be available at a nominal cost in March

Family Day move a welcome change: poll

Okanagan readers voted that the new date for Family Day in B.C. is a positive change

Penticton athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Penticton Vees look to playoffs after Feb. 16 win against Langley

The team needs to win two of their last three games to claim the division title

VIDEO: First responders save man friends say overdosed on fentanyl

Friends administered personal stores of naloxone before responders arrived

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Salmon Arm’s Laura Hall on bronze-winning skating squad

Hall’s team placed third in long track team pursuit at the Canada Winter Games

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Review: Joie de Vivre a celebration of homegrown talent

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra concert featured Ernst Schneider

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

Most Read