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Penticton  

Cannabis firm buys mill site

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has approved the construction of a massive marijuana grow facility in Okanagan Falls on the old Weyerhaeuser mill site.

The board voted Thursday to approve the development permit, which required no rezoning or variances.

The 17-acre greenhouse, production and administrative building is being built by Sunniva Inc., lead by Poplar Grove Winery owner Tony Holler.

The company recently announced the purchase of the entire 126-acre vacant industrial site for for $7M, a sale set to close on June 15. The property has been empty since the mill closed in 2007.

Sunniva has also publicly discussed plans to build a cannabis-production facility on Osoyoos Indian Band lands, but says they selected to OK Falls site because of “the ability to purchase and own the land and future expansion opportunities.”

The company has hired EllisDon as the project’s general contractor.

Billed as Sunniva’s “Canadian Campus,” the facility differs from most others in that it will actually utilize natural light with greenhouses, lowering the carbon footprint significantly. A similar facility is currently under construction in California.

RDOS Board Chair Karla Kozakevich said there was some debate from board members that wanted to postpone or deny the decision, but the majority saw no reason as the development fits the Official Community Plan.

Sunniva says the facility will employ 240 people once it is up and running.



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