No building permit issued for proposed cannabis production facility

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, May 15 2018

Abattis Bioceuticals Corp. announced this past week that it has engaged Ocean Pacific Contractors Ltd. for the construction of a purpose-built 26,000 square foot cannabis production and extraction facility on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, which will operate as Gabriola Green Farms.

Staff from the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) have confirmed the facility would be located at 1900 Ferne Road.

No date on the start of construction is given in the press release.

There has been no building permit issued for a facility at that address.

Phone calls and emails to the contacts given in the press release were unanswered as of press time.

According to the press release, the company is in the late stages of its application for a license to produce (the “LP”) under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations.

As of press time, neither Abattis nor Gabriola Green Farms were listed by the federal government as being approved.

The press release says the facility will be state-of-the-art, with proposed growing, extraction and propagation areas and a genetics lab. 

Construction of the facility will be completed in four stages, with an estimated cost of $1.5 million.

 On receipt of the LP, the company will be licensed to produce and sell cannabis and cannabis derivatives. 

In the press release, Rob Abenante, Abattis President and CEO, is quoted as saying, “The engagement of experienced construction contractors for our Gabriola facility crystallizes an important step in our path towards becoming a full service cannabis company.

“Once we receive our license through Gabriola and complete construction of the facility, we will have a large-scale platform from which to cultivate marijuana and produce and sell extracted cannabis products.”

Staff from the Islands Trust said they could confirm their Northern Office has received notice from an applicant to Health Canada for a cannabis production facility on Gabriola Island.

The property on Ferne Road is within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Proposed medical cannabis production facilities would be required to comply with applicable regulations within the Gabriola Island Land Use Bylaw No. 177. 

Specifically, the proposed use must be permitted within that zone, and the proposed building/s would be required to meet setback requirements, height restrictions, lot coverage, etc. 

Currently, the Land Use Bylaw permits “indoor production of medical marihuana licensed under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulation on lots in the Agricultural Land Reserve” (ALR) in the Agriculture (AG) zone, on Gabriola Island. The Land Use Bylaw provides specific setbacks for buildings, structures and fencing for indoor production of medical marihuana on properties in the ALR in the AG zone (30 metres from any lot line, and 150 metres from any school or park). Under Part 2(2)(p) of the Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation, “the production of marihuana in accordance with the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations” is permitted as a farm use in the ALR. 

As the Agricultural Land Commission has recognized the licensed production of medical marijuana as a “farm use,” medical marijuana production facilities are permitted on all lands that are located in the ALR. 

The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulation was repealed and replaced in 2016 by the Access to Cannabis Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). 

In terms of water use for non-residential use, if the proposed use is not on a community water system, and is proposing to use either groundwater or water from a stream, then an application for a water license under the Water Sustainability Act would be required.