Owners of The Lodge south of Quesnel have applied for special exception from the Cariboo Regional District in a rezoning application to produce cannabis edibles.
The bylaw amendment would change the current general commercial zone to a special exception service commercial zone as a cannabis production facility for The Lodge’s owners Cynthia Clarke and Dewey Swaan, and applicant Andrea Hoy.
The Lodge is currently rented out for any manner of events including craft fairs, private parties, weddings, dance lessons and home shows, to name a few.
The new, proposed use of the property and building would see the manufacturing and packaging of cannabis extract-infused chocolates.
“We are working towards getting federally licensed to produce chocolates which will be distributed to licensed dispensaries across Canada via the governing provincial authority,” the owners stated in their application.
“There will not be any sales to the public or dispensary via this location.”
Additionally, no cannabis cultivation will take place on the site, and will be purchased from government-licensed processors.
“All manufacturing will take place in the existing building and any odours will be eliminated through a federally-required air filtration system,” the owners said. “The Lodge currently has an air filter in place which we can use, so we will not see any changes to the building’s exterior.”
At its Cariboo Regional District board meeting Friday, July 10, staff showed support for the proposed zoning amendment application, and said the intended cannabis edibles production facility complies with policies contained within the Quesnel Fringe Area OCP.
CRD staff agreed the proposal will have minimal impacts concerning intensive odours, unsightliness and excessive water consumption and disposal, and passed a third reading to move to final adoption.
“As there is no cannabis cultivation on-site and the intended business will be confined within the existing building with no exterior additions and changes, the potential impact on the neighbouring properties should be minimal,” the CRD stated in its rationale for recommendation. “Further, the proposed zoning aligns with the existing OCP designation.”
One letter of opposition from a resident in the Maple Heights Road area expressed concerns regarding the facility’s proximity to Lakeview Elementary School, however, the CRD said the application meets its criteria for location away from daycare and schools of 300 metres.
The fourth and final decision of the bylaw exemption will come during the August CRD board meeting.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include relevant information regarding the facility’s location in relation to an elementary school.