A 57,000 square foot medical marijuana research and production facility is being proposed for a lot on Beaver Creek Road. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)

Agricultural Land Commission approves cannabis facility in Beaver Creek

Proposed facility outside Port Alberni had been caught up in ALR red tape

The province’s Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) has approved a controversial application for a medical marijuana facility in Beaver Creek in the Alberni Valley.

The applicant, Moni Sadeghi of Premium Cannabis Meds BC, was in the process of obtaining a building permit for the 57,000-square foot research and production facility back in 2018, when a moratorium on cement-based, industrial-style cannabis production facilities in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) came down from the ALC. Sadeghi was forced to apply for a non-farm use exemption for the plot of ALR land.

The proposal has been met with opposition from neighbours along Beaver Creek Road, who point out that the area includes a “dense cluster” of houses along a narrow street with no sidewalk or streetlights. The proposed facility will also be located directly across the street from Kackaamin, an addiction treatment facility.

Because of the controversy, the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) agreed last February to pass the application on to the ALC for a decision.

READ MORE: Alberni Valley residents pan pot proposal for ALR

READ MORE: Application for Beaver Creek cannabis facility passed on to province

Documents on the ALC website show that a site visit took place in September. The property will include two levels of fencing and a parking lot that will accommodate up to 19 vehicles, although Sadeghi does “not anticipate that there will be more than a couple of staff working at any given time.” The property is on metered water with the city of Port Alberni, and all runoff water will be addressed through an internal drainage system. All water displaced by the building itself will be drained by ditches into Beaver Creek.

The facility will also use high-efficiency air (HEPA) filters to address odour concerns.

In her application, Sadeghi noted that she had made “major financial commitments” up until July 13, 2018, when the moratorium came down from the ALC.

“Had we been told that we would not be able to grow indoors we would not have made these major commitments,” she said.

The decision from the ALC states that all forms of cannabis production are a farm use, although “certain other activities associated with cannabis production, such as fill placement or soil removal to construct a structure for farm use, may still require Commission approval.”

Sadeghi’s application was approved, after the ALC’s executive committee considered the size of the facility and determined that the amount of fill requested “is not excessive” based on the facility’s footprint.

The placement of fill must be overseen by a qualified registered professional with specific knowledge of soils, drainage and fill placement, added the committee.

A call to the ACRD was not returned by press time.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New seniors’ housing complex proposed for Port Alberni

Developers targeting more active seniors, offering ‘age in place’ model

Upgrade on the books for contentious intersection in Port Alberni

Province promises survey, changes at Beaver Creek and River Roads in 2021

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Family Farm Day in the Alberni Valley goes virtual

Take part in a scavenger hunt for a chance to win a gift basket

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Most Read