Attention urged for cannabis issue

Dear Editor,

I live on Green lane between Beamsville and Vineland.

My neighbor who delivered water the other day asked if I was attending the open house that afternoon at town hall regarding land use of cannabis in our township.

Thank God he did.

I had been away for a few months and, wow, have things changed on my street in such a short time.

To my surprise, I found out that our street was filling up with medical cannabis grow ops, including at an old barn, six houses down, to the decrepit chicken barns that had been vacant for as long as I could remember just a bit further down.

And the property next to my delivery man has clearly been prepped for an incoming operation.

They even trenched a ditch that stops 10-feet short of a creek at the back of the property.

The property behind me was purchased last year by an offshore Chinese group which have not hidden their intention of putting in a cannabis operation – at least not to the realtor who sold them the property.

I don’t know how many of them are legal medical facilities, but it has become the wild west out here.

While I support medicinal use of cannabis and believe it should be legal to grow a plant or two on your property, this has gotten out of hand.

Anyone who grows more than, say, 10 plants should have to follow all the same guidelines as commercial growers. No exceptions.

We need to do something at a regional level. Cannabis is being rolled in under federal and provincial agricultural mandates and expecting OMAFRA to be able to deal with issues.

Any buildings or greenhouses which have been used for normal agricultural applications should not be automatically rolled over to become grow ops.

Again, I know, personally, of someone in Vineland who was offered half-a-million dollars to rent out his greenhouse for six months. There is something incredibly stinky about this – both physically and morally.

Write to MP Dean Allison and demand that he protect his constituents. The federal government has created a huge black market through legal loop holes.

Medical facilities are not giving our community’s the jobs like Hexo or Tweed. I’d like to know what the taxation implications are for those legal medicinal grow ops. We need to demand the federal government rethink what they are doing.

Perhaps we need to approach this regionally. Would we have more clout?

Please pay attention to this issue because it is a lot bigger than just odour control.

It affects our property values and quality of living. Who, in their right minds, needs 100 plants a year medicinally and, if they need it, then they should be purchasing it from legal operations that are set up properly offering properly vetted product. Legal facilities offer our kids jobs and pay taxes.

Compare a proper grow-op that follows legal mandates to the letter and raises our property value like Hexo – formerly known as Up Cannabis in Grimsby – to my local legal medical grow op just down the street at Tufford and the South Service Road, Beamsville.

They have ongoing legal issues for growing more than their permit allows. They don’t offer our kids jobs or any reasonable environmental protections. There is absolutely no odour mitigation control at this facility. There are holes in plastic hoop houses for crying out loud. Please drive by and compare the two facilities.

Why have they not been shut down? Why are they still being granted medical licensing?

In their attempt to understand and properly plan for this new industry the Town of Lincoln was granted a one-year moratorium which ends February 2020.

The government does not usually grant a second year but we need to demand an extension for extenuating circumstances.

We are an agricultural community in a prime corridor to the U.S.

Please attend the meeting at Lincoln town Hall on Nov. 11 and demand that we be granted extension of the moratorium.

Especially until we have a grasp of the density of properties growing marijuana.

We need to pay attention. This is not going away anytime soon as the frontiers have just exploded.

Basia Krzyzanowski

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