PELHAM, Ont. — David Ireland, is frustrated by “the smell of a skunk” cannabis that is coming off of two installations of cultivation of marijuana and makes his way to the outside of his home at about five kilometers of the place, even in winter.
“The hot, humid days, it is worse, because they should ventilate more often… You could not open your windows”, he said.
The town of Pelham, Ontario, where Mr. Ireland – a one-hour drive from Toronto, near the wine region of Niagara – became a focus for the private producers of legal marijuana who have purchased greenhouses and converted flowers and vegetables in more lucrative crops.
According to the mayor of Pelham, Marvin Junkin, six of the production of marijuana are currently allowed on the territory of the community of 17,500 people.
And while the community is receptive to the jobs created by the companies, the recriminations more about light pollution and odors have caused residents such as Mr. Ireland to form a group to be accountable to the industry.
As a result, the City of Pelham has banned any new installations of cultivation of cannabis and the existing facilities are not permitted to take the expansion for a year, under an interim control by-law put in place last October 15.
“Unfortunately, those who are here have not been the best corporate citizens,” said Mr. Junkin.
“It is a two-edged sword in this moment,” said the mayor. “As a city, we really like the job (that these companies are generating)… If they could only do a little more a long way on emissions, light and odour.”
The tension that reigns in Pelham highlights the industry’s growing difficulties of the cannabis then that canadian players are increasing their production to meet the demand of national and world while balancing the concerns of the communities where they operate.
“As a city, we really like the job (that these companies are generating)… If they could only do a little more a long way on emissions, light and odour.” ”
The mayor of Pelham, Marvin Junkin
According to a recent report from Deloitte, the canadian market for cannabis, including medical products, recreational legal and illegal, should generate sales totaling up to 7,17 billion $ by 2019. Deloitte added that the legal sales are expected to represent more than half of this amount, up to 4.34 billion $ in the first year.
Canada has become a world leader in the marijuana, the companies expanding their global reach as more and more countries in the world legalize the substance for medical purposes.
The result has been an economic shock in communities such as Leamington and Smiths Falls, Ontario, helping to fill the void left by the factories that produced past the Heinz ketchup and chocolates Hershey, pointed out Brad Poulos, a professor of economics at the University of Ryerson.
The opposition to the industry in Pelham restricted to the plans of licensed producers such as CannTrust, hindering their ability to grow and to take advantage of the current tightness in supply.
CannTrust has opened a hydroponic setup in Pelham in June last, which, according to the company, is able to produce up to 50 000 kilograms of pot per year. The producer had also planned to expand the facility in two phases, which would increase its production to 100, 000 kilograms.
The company has not yet received the necessary permits for the final phase of its expansion.
The company took “serious precautions” to control the odors at its facility in Pelham and has not received any complaint, has supported the chief executive officer of CannTrust, Peter Aceto, adding that authorities have made contact with the company about the light pollution.
“It has always been very important for us to be a good member of this community,” says Aceto. Therefore, if there is something that makes people unhappy, we want to address it.”