A recent survey of Williams Lake residents found they are generally supportive of the Williams Lake First Nation’s cannabis manufacturing facility presently under construction on IR6 land within the city’s limits.
At the end of June, the City launched the online survey as a means of seeking public input on the micro-cannabis manufacturing facility and farm-gate retail outlet.
Director of planning and development Hasib Nadvi told the Tribune that 427 people responded to the survey and about 101 of those were not included in the final report because they either did not live in the City of Williams Lake or did no provide a full name or address for verification purposes.
Normally the City holds public hearings on all proposed developments, but in this case, the City has no authority to regulate development on reserve lands.
“In response to concerns raised with respect to land use, possible odour, and environmental issues, both organizations had meaningful discussions that provided reassurance that these issues were addressed in the design stage,” Nadvi said in a news release. “The facility will comply with federal Health Canada standards.”
Nadvi noted the City wanted to congratulate WLFN for its historic agreement with the province supporting farm-gate sales of own-grown craft cannabis products and said the City looks forward to the expanded opportunities for the community and region through job creation, economic stimulation and tourism.
Since 1994, the City and WLFN have been bound by the Tillion Agreement, which grants the City access to the River Valley sewer infrastructure passing through the Tillion Reserve, located at the confluence of the Fraser River and Williams River.
In exchange, the City committed to supplying water and sewer services to the IR6 land at no charge.
“The City has been having productive discussions around working collaboratively for the region,” Nadvi said, adding those discussions have included the City and WLFN entering into a servicing agreement that may include fire protection, snow removal, sidewalks, storm drainage, and road maintenance for the development.
The servicing agreement should address all resident concerns brought up through the survey. Most residents are overall supportive for the project, he added.