Cannabis production facilities on discretionary use lists for agriculture and medium industrial areas

January 24, 2018

Cannabis production facilities on discretionary use lists for agriculture and medium industrial areas

Businesses looking to locate a cannabis production facility in an agricultural area remain able to apply for a permit, as a discretionary use. Council on January 23 voted for a proposed amendment to provide a definition for “cannabis production facility”. The amendment adds cannabis facilities to the list of discretionary uses in the IM - medium industrial zoning district; and to AG – agricultural zoning district.

“We need to ensure resident concerns about proposed developments are thoroughly addressed. With cannabis production facilities listed as a discretionary use, our development authority has the ability to review for compatibility within a location,” says Mayor Rod Frank. “The amendment also ensures Strathcona County supports innovation and remains competitive in the region. We want to continue to be open for business and diversification and stay true to our Agriculture Master Plan.”

Listing cannabis production facilities as discretionary use allows the County’s development authority to continue considering if what is being proposed is compatible on a site by site basis as well as taking into consideration feedback from adjacent landowners. The development authority can apply conditions to help address compatibility and scale of development.

Cannabis production facility was previously interpreted as part of the agriculture intensive horticulture definition. A separate definition for “cannabis production facility” provides clarity and ensures greater certainty in the Land Use Bylaw as to what is allowed as a discretionary use in the agriculture and medium industrial zones.   

Should a development permit be granted, the applicant must still apply to the federal government for a licence and receive all the necessary approvals before beginning production.

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of over 98,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.

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Contact: Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595