Regional district board defers Lumby cannabis facility application amid environmental concerns

LUMBY - The regional district board wants more details on the impact of a potential cannabis facility in Lumby before it votes on the company's application.

At the Regional District of North Okanagan board of directors meeting last night, Dec. 12, a proposed cannabis facility application was on the agenda.

Green Amber (Canada) Corp. needs to submit an application to the Agricultural Land Commission to start construction on Shafer Road. The property is in the Agriculture Land Reserve, which carries certain construction regulations. Green Amber, which wants to build a 100,000 square-foot facility, can only submit its application with the board's approval.

Instead of voting yes or no on the application yesterday, board members deferred the decision until certain requests are met.

The board wants a hydrologist report to determine any possible negative effects the facility might have on neighbouring wells, according to the approved recommendation from district staff. Green Amber also needs to hold a public information meeting and demonstrate how they propose to limit the impact of the facility on the surrounding neighbours.

Once these requests are satisfied, the application will return to the board for a vote. There is no set date for this vote.

Community members such as Kevin Rouck, who lives on Shafer Road, raised concerns about the facility several days before the meeting. He voiced worries about the facility's water usage, construction, building size and noise levels. He joined a small protest group outside the meeting last night.

"We are happy with [the board's decision]," Rouck said. "It's still going to be a long road."

One of Rouck's chief complaints about the facility was the lack of public input. He looks forward to attending the upcoming public information meeting and expressing his opinions on the facility.

"I'm open minded," he said. "It's nice that we have a voice. We're going to try to keep this in the spotlight."

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