Medical marijuana would be confined to Cornwall Business Park

In this diagram from the city's planning advisory committee agenda, the striped section shows potential locations for a medical marijuana plant in Cornwall, Ont. (Photo/City of Cornwall)

CORNWALL – The city’s planning advisory committee (PAC) is recommending any medical marijuana production facility be confined to the Cornwall Business Park.

More specifically, the now-vacant area north of Tenth Street and west of Boundary Road would be the preferred area, the committee heard Monday night.

A public meeting was held to gauge public feedback on the location criteria but – other than five members in the gallery for other PAC agenda items – nobody showed up.

Senior Planner Mary Joyce-Smith told councillors any plant could set up on land zoned as Manufacturing 30 or Manufacturing 40.

In looking at other municipalities, Joyce-Smith said the pot production facilities are confined to industrial areas and have specific setbacks from any residential ares – in Cornwall’s case it would be 150 meters (500 feet).

Economic Development Manager Mark Boileau added that having a designated area may protect the city, should if face a legal challenge down the road from a perspective company wanting to set up shop.

The zoning amendments will also meet Health Canada requirements, which already has stringent standards including signage, secured doors and entrances and 24/7 video surveillance for these types of facilities.

A business could still make a site-specific application to the city though.

Coun. Bernadette Clement questioned about concerns over odours coming from a production facility, which Joyce-Smith said is why it’s preferential to keep it in an industrial area.

The city had several expressions of interest from four companies last year, but no bites.

The recommendation from the Cornwall Planning Advisory Committee still has to be approved by city council at its Sept. 14 meeting.

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