Lisa Charleson-Robinson, director of Kackaamin Family Development Centre in Beaver Creek. (MIKE YOUDS/ Special to the News)

Beaver Creek rehab centre obtains lawyer over objections to proposed pot facility

Kackaamin says ACRD could stop Premium Med’s application with bylaw change

Kackaamin Family Development Centre says it has obtained legal counsel that says the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) can prevent the development of a new medical cannabis production plant on Beaver Creek Road.

Premium Cannabis Meds plans to build a 57,000 sq. ft. indoor growing facility in a rural residential area of Beaver Creek, across the street from Kackaamin (pronounced kots-common).

The ACRD has maintained the position that there is nothing they can do to stop the proposed Beaver Creek cannabis facility from going forward, as Premium Cannabis Meds applied for a building permit before new regulations came down from the provincial government. These new regulations include an outright moratorium on cement-based, industrial-style cannabis production facilities in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).

In a press release, Kackaamin has stated that their legal counsel sent a letter to the ACRD’s lawyer, laying out not only how the ACRD can stop the facility, but why they should.

Although the cannabis facility received approval from the Agricultural Land Commission in January, the facility is currently not licensed by Health Canada or the ACRD. The current bylaw in place for medical marijuana mandates that proposals must be approved by Health Canada in order to be approved by the ACRD.

The new bylaw, P1399, which was given third reading at the Wednesday, Feb. 26 ACRD board meeting, has a grandfathering date of September 1, 2019. However, Kackaamin argues that the Ministry of Agriculture says that the grandfathering date should be the one in the provincial regulations: July 13, 2018.

Kackaamin says that the ACRD does not have to do anything “extra” or “unfair” to stop the project, “but should apply the same rules to everyone,” meaning no concrete-floored cannabis facilities will be allowed in the ACRD on ALR lands.

“There is no legal reason for the proposed Beaver Creek facility to be the one exception to the rules, especially when the social costs to Kackaamin and the neighborhood is so high,” the press release states.

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