October 21, 2015 - 11:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - Kamloops’ first medical marijuana grow operation went to public hearing last night and was approved unanimously by council.
No one, not even the proponent, spoke for or against the operation yesterday, Oct. 20, at the public hearing, though there was one piece of correspondence submitted by Maxine Charlton of M-3 Management who opposed the application because her business worried the grow operation would emit offensive odours and make it hard to sell other properties in the area.
The application, first brought before council Sept. 29, was to rezone the property at 8170 Dallas Dr. Medical marijuana grow operations are only permitted in heavy industrial areas, the current property was zoned industrial.
The city has 11 stipulations before zoning a building for a grow operation, including allowances for odours. City staff determined the property is 630 metres from the closest residential subdivision and 3.8 kilometres from the closest school, making it well beyond the required 150 metres.
The building is owned by Augustus Marks, who applied to city on behalf of proprietor Dr. Richard Brownlee. Brownlee is a neurosurgeon in Kamloops who owns and operates the Welcome Back Pain Management Centre on Columbia Street. He called the grow operation both a business opportunity and a chance to conduct research on the effectiveness of marijuana in treating chronic pain.
Brownlee previously said he is in the background check phase of obtaining a medical marijuana growing license from Health Canada. He complained the process has been very slow and every time he had contacted the government agency on the status of his application, its status hadn’t changed.
It is possible Health Canada never grants Brownlee a license, even though the city rezoned his property. City regulations state if the property on Dallas Drive sits empty for over a year the permit will be decommissioned.
Brownlee admitted it is possible the operation could never happen.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015