Medical marijuana plant as secure as Pentagon, official says

Bill Chaaban of Creative Edge Nutrition praises Charlottetown city council for amending zoning to consider future possible marijuana plants

Dave Stewart dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 26, 2014
Bill Chaaban of Creative Edge Nutrition praises Charlottetown city council for amending zoning to consider future possible marijuana plants.
Submitted photo

The CEO of a company building a medical marijuana plant in Ontario is praising Charlottetown city council for paving the way for P.E.I.’s first production facility.

Bill Chaaban, CEO of Creative Edge Nutrition, said these facilities are state of the art and just as secure as the Pentagon.

Before they can be built, Health Canada says municipal approval is required as well as approval of the local police and fire departments.

“We are, essentially, building in our neck of the woods a super-max federal security prison,’’ Chaaban said, noting the facility also carries a premium camera system, two-tier fencing and a level-10 vault that weighs 2.5 million pounds and is 4,000 square feet in size.

He said such a facility in Charlottetown would be similar. Creative Edge Nutrition is spending close to $20 million to build one in Lakeshore, Ont.

Earlier this month, Charlottetown council passed a resolution, agreeing to amend the city’s zoning and development bylaw by adding the definition for medical marijuana production facility. Council didn’t have much choice.

Under new federal legislation, large indoor marijuana farms certified by the RCMP and health inspectors, will be allowed to

produce, package and distribute a range of standardized marijuana, all of it sold for whatever price the market will bear.

By changing the bylaw, council is restricting where this facility can be built — the West Royalty Industrial Park, some light industrial areas located north of the city’s bypass highway and the bio-commons park. The city is believed to be looking at an application for a building permit now.

Had council not acted, a medical marijuana facility could have been built anywhere.

Chaaban said Health Canada will also want a 500-metre radius aerial view of where the facility will be built and what type of

zoning exists in the surrounding area.

Their facility will sit on six acres with operational space of more than 80,000 square feet.

“These companies (like ours) are being licensed and inspected by Health Canada, third-party lab tested by Health Canada to ensure patients have access to quality pure medicine. We’re not talking recreational (use). We’re talking medicine that needs to get to patients that require it.’’

Chaaban said these facilities will also boost the local economy.

“You are going to go to super licensed producers with inspected licences by the federal government who are going to collect and remit tax back to the government. The government is going to be able to come in and audit every single plant, every single record, every single book and that’s the way it should be done.

“It’s a great thing for the country. I think that Canada is positioning itself to be a world leader in medical marijuana. It could create an enormous amount of skilled and unskilled jobs for the (Charlottetown) region. I think it’s great for the community and great for the public.’’

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart