A second cannabis production facility could be coming to Crossfield in 2021.
Crossfield residents and former councillors James Ginter and Hadi Feltham have been advocating to bring a recreational cannabis micro-grow facility to the Harmony Business Complex, located on the east side of town.
In a Dec. 15 presentation to Town council, Ginter, vice-president of 12087570 Canada Corp – a still-unnamed cannabis producer – cited Crossfield’s geographical position as an attractant for cannabis producers and highlighted the ample availability of industrial land.
“My partners and I have narrowed down our search for a suitable location to build our facility and I would prefer to invest in the Town of Crossfield, which would allow us to support local businesses and residents,” he said, adding the favourable business tax environment was also appealing.
Despite the advantages of setting up the business in town, Ginter said the municipality's Land Use Bylaw (LUB) creates hurdles for cannabis production facilities.
“The Town’s bylaws, as written, present a number of obstacles for any new cannabis business wanting to invest in the town of Crossfield,” he said. “The LUB only gives the description of a medical cannabis facility as, at the time it was written, recreational cannabis was not yet legal.”
Crossfield currently has one cannabis production facility in operation – 314 Pure Cannabis, which focuses on growing medicinal marijuana and received its cultivation license from Health Canada in 2019.
Ginter noted other municipalities in Alberta that have allowed discretionary use in their zoning or land use bylaws for facilities producing recreational cannabis on industrial lands. He cited Nanton, Chestermere, High River, Rocky View County, Okotoks, Drumheller and Beiseker as examples.
Considering the rapid growth of the recreational cannabis industry in Alberta, Ginter encouraged council to amend its LUB.
He added 12087570 Canada Corp would benefit the town as a whole, as the company would source local materials and labour from Crossfield and contribute to the Town’s non-residential tax base.
“In these times of record-high unemployment and with many buildings around industrial zones sitting empty, the Town of Crossfield should be reducing red tape and encouraging investment instead of chasing investment away,” he said.
After the meeting, Ginter told the Rocky View Weekly the company could construct the facility and prepare it for cannabis cultivation in approximately two to four months. The business would then apply for a growing license through Health Canada – a process Ginter said would take about half a year.
He added the company intends to be producing recreational cannabis before the end of 2021, though it depends on the Town’s approvals and other processes. He said the business would sell its product to larger cannabis companies in Alberta, such as Sundial Growers in Olds.
“There are so many other towns and cities throughout Alberta that have [cannabis production] in their LUB and allow it as discretionary or straight use in their industrial lands,” he said. “Crossfield, by not having it, isn’t attracting that business to town. Some people might be happy with that but, right now, a lot of people are out of work and there is a lot of industrial land that is sitting empty.”
Mayor Jo Tennant said council is receptive to the idea of another cannabis producer in Crossfield, adding Ginter will return to council in the future with an official business plan.
“The Town will certainly look at the LUB to see if they can accommodate that,” she said. “It shouldn’t be a big issue, but we need the formal application. Once we receive that, there’s a requirement for the landowner – because they’re going to be leasing it – to provide permission for them to be there, as well.”