Plympton-Wyoming Deputy Mayor Muriel Wright wants to make sure a marijuana grower doesn’t set up shop before the town has its house in order.
The town’s planner, Sarah Baldwin, says there have been two expressions of interest last year from people wondering where a marijuana operation could locate in the town. Neither completed the paper work to follow through on the idea.
But the inquiries sparked concern for Wright, who has already had residents voice concerns about legal cannabis operations. “We constantly get complaints about the Petrolia operation,” she says.
High Park Farms has been producing marijuana for the recreation and medicinal market since 2018 on Lasalle Line in Enniskillen – close to Plympton-Wyoming’s border.
Wright says residents in her municipality call her about the smell and light issues. Councillors want to avoid the same problem in Plympton-Wyoming if it is possible.
So, Baldwin did a study of what other municipalities are doing to protect residents from the unpleasant side effects of the legal operation.
Some towns control the operations with a site plan and others work through separate noise and odour bylaws. But council isn’t sure if Plympton-Wyoming should follow the lead of another community.
“We’ve been playing with the concept for some time for about a bylaw. We have different municipality bylaws, but we’re not happy with them totally,” Wright says.
Wright instead won the support of council to look at an interim control bylaw to stop the development of cannabis operations for now.
“That’s why I proposed a bylaw to put on hold till we can really get down to the nitty gritty and finding something that’s concrete that we can all be satisfied with and also the public can be satisfied with it.”
Mayor Lonny Napper believes it’s a good idea for the time being “until we have the proper time to really look at it.”
Napper says councillors have concern that some of the industrial land in the municipality is close to residential land and that council says could cause problems.
So, at the direction of council, Baldwin will draft an Interim Control Bylaw which will stop the development of cannabis facilities until the town comes up with its own regulations around the industry.
Council will have to approve the move once the bylaw is drafted.