Proposal for cannabis growing facility starts buzz in N.B. community
COVERDALE, N.B. -- People are usually pretty protective about what goes on in their neighbourhood, so a couple's proposal to open a cannabis facility on their own property in Coverdale, N.B., has the neighbours talking.
They've received a letter about the potential rezoning needed to enable the project proposed by Gina Brown and her partner Jared.
They are licensed to grow cannabis outdoors on the land they own, but the dream has been to move their production to a secure cannabis facility indoors.
"In July we got confirmation from Health Canada saying everything was approved, now you just need to put together the site evidence package," said Brown, the co-owner of Anchor Cannabis. "So, at that point, it's like everything looks good, just show us your building."
But a building permit from the cannabis production facility directive was denied.
That's because their agricultural land must now be rezoned to industrial.
"Anything that's being grown outdoors right now is still considered agriculture," said Joshua Adams, the Southeast Regional Service Commission planner. "It's just the indoor cultivation, and any other uses, so processing or transformation, that kinda stuff would be in that industrial zone."
Neighbours received a letter in the mail to inform them of the potential cannabis facility if rezoning was approved.
"I really didn't care," said neighbour Clint Hansen. "Doesn't bother me one bit. If that's what they wanna do, fine."
But some online voiced concerns over potential smell or environmental issues.
Lower Coverdale resident Ron Davis says he would understand the neighbours' hesitation if it were in his backyard.
"I use CBD oil so it's not something that I'm opposed to as such, it's just I think I'd be concerned about the smell, the size of it, or number of employees, all those concerns in that area, because it's a residential area, really," said Davis.
Brown says they won't be selling their products to anyone other than potential clients, like Cannabis NB. The facility would be limited to growing, drying, packaging and shipping.
"We're talking about harvesting every month versus harvesting once a year," Brown said. "Financially, it's a game changer."
A public hearing will be held Jan. 8 and a final decision will ultimately be made by the province's environment minister after taking all evidence into account.