A cannabis industry leader says Saanich’s reluctance towards marijuana has cost the municipality, but officials note that some of the would-be projects were outside its jurisdiction. (Black Press File)

Saanich says it cannot comment on pot projects

Some of the projects were under jurisdiction of the Agricultural Land Commission

Details are emerging about unrealized pot projects in Saanich, but the municipality says some of them were outside its control.

Courtland Sandover-Sly, president of the BC Independent Cannabis Association, and a partner in Groundwork Consulting, a full-service cannabis consulting firm that specializes in the procurement of federal licenses from Health Canada and retail storefront licenses, said earlier this week that Saanich’s cautious approach towards marijuna has cost it potential business opportunities.

“A number of our clients were interested in pursuing licenses in Saanich,” said Sandover-Sly. “After discussions with staff, and completing their due diligence, they realized that it was simply impossible to pursue their goals in that particular municipality.”

RELATED: Cannabis industry leader says Saanich letting revenue go up in smoke

While Sandover-Sly said privacy reasons and ongoing land use applications in other municipalities prevent him from revealing the names of applicants, he nonetheless highlighted some of the relevant facts of the applications.

“There was a greenhouse planned for ALR land off of Wilkinson Road that has moved its facility to Merritt,” he said. “There was another greenhouse planned for ALR, an area beside Mount Doug on Blenkinsop that is now planning to build outside of Nanaimo. There was a cannabis processing facility that wanted to renovate a location on Quadra Street that has since shelved those plans and is looking at space in Alberta. There were two cannabis extraction facilities that were planning to build in Saanich that have now moved to Sooke and Victoria, respectively.”

Sandover-Sly said a number of clients also had plans for expansion into Saanich, but shelved those plans after Saanich banned retail cannabis stores in 2018. (By way of background, Saanich issued the ban in May 2018 to give staff additional time to review legislation and prepare bylaw revisions, now awaiting public input).

RELATED: Update: Saanich puts lid on future pot sales for now

Kelsie McLeod, a spokesperson with the District of Saanich, said all pre-application discussions with potential applicants are confidential.

“We are not able to provide information regarding pre-application or informal discussions related to any planning file in order to protect the privacy of all potential applicants,” she said. “An application is public when it is formally submitted. Staff can provide application-related details at that time.”

McLeod also notes that the Agricultural Land Commission — not the municipality — has jurisdiction over the cannabis production on ALR lands.

“The production of non-medical cannabis has been permitted on all agricultural land reserve (ALR) lands throughout Saanich – and the rest of the province – for some time now,” she said. “This is permitted as long as the property owner and operators meet specific Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) requirements.”

RELATED: Saanich signals support for new pot sale locations

McLeod also pointed out that council endorsed the preparation of zoning bylaw amendments that would permit non-medical cannabis stores in all existing commercial zones that currently permit the sale of liquor.

“By endorsing this option, the process to establish a new cannabis retail location will be treated the same as the process to establish a new liquor store,” she said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Nurse comes home to ‘dream job’ at Saanich Peninsula Hospital

Jane Fox is the first Aboriginal liaison nurse at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital

Killer clowns and chainsaw-wielding ghouls descend on Central Saanich corn maze

Fright Night takes place at Saanichton Corn Maze Oct 19, 26

Key tag program leads to new respirator at Jubilee Hospital

TB Vets donate 28 life-saving respirators around B.C.

Mix of sun and cloud ahead for Monday

Plus a look ahead at your week

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Dog killed in alleged hit and run, Goodlife Marathon takes over city and more

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Most Read