Cannabis grow gets permit

A large-scale cannabis production facility outside Kaleden has been given the green-light to start construction.

Green Mountain Health Alliance Ltd. announced this week it has received its Agricultural Land Reserve greenhouse building permit for the company’s 16-acre property off Highway 3A.

The project broke ground last year, but was snarled by changing regulations when the Agricultural Land Commission banned cannabis from ALR land unless the plants are grown in topsoil. With some site preparation already complete, the ALR building permit now allows the company to move ahead with greenhouse construction.

“We will reduce our energy consumption by optimizing use of natural light, natural cooling and heating in the building design, and the use of automated and efficient climate control solutions. This not only benefits the environment but will also provide us with cost savings,” said Dominic Unsworth, Green Mountain’s head facilities designer.

“We have also confirmed a plan for electrical service and established a rainwater capture system to provide the majority of irrigation needed, as we are committed to environmentally sustainable cultivation methods which reduce energy and water consumption.”

The first phase of the build should be complete by the spring, allowing for the test crop. The full build out will be complete in the summer.

In a news release, the company says their business model centres on sun-grown cannabis, so modifying the building design to comply with ALC regulation was relatively simple.

“The receipt of our building permit is fantastic news,” said Green Mountain president Wade Attwood. “The ALR regulatory landscape has been in evolution and this clears the way for us to proceed with support from the RDOS and in full compliance with ALC regulations and local bylaws. Green Mountain’s sun-grown, environmentally sustainable, high-technology greenhouse operation will have exceptionally low production costs that indoor, electricity-dependent growers across Canada will have difficulty competing with. We’re very excited to move forward.”

The company is currently waiting on approval from Health Canada for licensing, but says it has recently progressed through the initial intake and screening phase and has moved into the review queue.

Green Mountain has also signed a letter of intent for a 98-acre parcel of Indigenous land.

The Manitoba Metis Federation is a large financial stakeholder in Green Mountain Alliance, which will be paying benefits to the Penticton Indian Band.

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