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Grow op passes third reading at Comox Valley Regional District

Small-scale operation proposed near “The Ridge” neighbourhood to grow cannabis
A citizen of nearby neighbourhood “The Ridge” speaks against the proposed cannabis operation for 3960 Minto Road at a public hearing on March 5, 2024. (Connor McDowell/Comox Valley Record)

Plans for a cannabis grow operation have passed third reading at the Comox Valley Regional District.

On March 19, the Valley’s electoral area directors voted to pass third reading of Bylaw No. 813. The bylaw aims to rezone the property at 3960 Minto Road to allow for cannabis production.

A regional district report from September 2023 reads that the owner is applying to grow in the “micro-cultivation category which would allow up to 200 square metres of growing surface area.” This would be about 75 per cent the size of a tennis court.

Vocal neighbours from the nearby residential area “The Ridge” spoke out at a public hearing on March 5. Some worried that byproducts of cannabis production would waft into their neighbourhood, which borders roughly 400 metres northeast.

A concerned neighbour told the Record they also worry that Roy Creek, which passes through the property, could be in danger of pollutants or byproducts.

Other members supported the plan. One supporter vouched for the owner of the Royston property, saying they trusted the owner as a responsible person to manage the project.

Area Director Richard Hardy at the public hearing on March 5, 2024. (Connor McDowell/Comox Valley Record)

The applicant at 3960 Minto Road is proposing to grow cannabis inside an existing building. The sprawling farm property is currently used to grow hay and graze beef cattle and would repurpose only one building for the operation, according to a regional district report.

The property rests just outside the border of Courtenay, roughly two kilometres south of Walmart at the Anfield Centre.

The bylaw now awaits approval from the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. At a later date, another Comox Valley vote will take place where elected officials consider adopting the bylaw in final.

A red marker shows the approximate location of a proposed small-scale grow operation for cannabis. (Photo: Google Maps)

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Connor McDowell

About the Author: Connor McDowell

Started at the Record in May 2023. He studied journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax
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