COURTENAY, B.C- The company behind a marijuana grow-site in south end Courtenay will start knocking on doors next week.
That’s according to Richard Park, the CEO and President of Coastline Canada. Park and his business partner Dylan Hardie have partnered with Alberta-based Atlas Growers to build a 100,000 square foot facility over five acres of land in Courtenay’s south end.
The decision to locate in the Valley is the result of Atlas acquiring Coastline, which had secured the Courtenay location. A press release from Atlas stated that the land has been leased for 20 years, with construction planned to start within the next two months depending on financing.
The estimated production capacity is described as 42,000 kilograms, with the cannabis from the Courtenay site being intended for adult use in the recreational market.
Atlas president Sheldon Croome had previously told the MyComoxValley.com newsroom that a ground breaking was scheduled for Monday, while Courtenay’s municipal administration had indicated there were no permits in place for any kind of construction work.
Mayor Larry Jangula had expressed anger over the announcement. However, Park has now said the company has been working with the city’s planning department on the matter, with consultation being planned in the very near future.
“We want to make sure that all of the residents and all of the local neighbours are happy,” said Park.
“This is a project done by Vancouver Islanders. My partner, Dylan Hardie, he’s born and raised in Courtenay, been there his whole life. The reason we wanted to do this is we didn’t want to have to deal with the Canopy’s or the Auroras (other marijuana companies).”
Park indicated there had been miscommunication about the plan for the site, and stated that there will be discussions with “all the neighbourhoods” and all councillors.
“We are going to be door-knocking, we’re going to host a town hall,” said Park.
“We want to make sure everybody is heard, even the little guy, because in the end, we’re the little guy.”
Park indicated he had worked as a programmer, while Hardie’s main income was as a commercial fisherman. When discussing his business proposition, Hardie had said he wanted to get into the field in order to have a job that took less of a toll on his body.
“I know how it’s being portrayed, as the big company pushing someone around, but we all work on the Island,” said Park.
“I went to UVIC, I worked for BC Ambulance, I program here. It’s not the right portrayal we were aiming for.”
Park stated that they’ll be “knocking on doors” next week, and he’ll be handing out his personal number. He wanted to have a consultative process. As for what the company would do if the municipal authourities aren’t in favour of the project, he believed it wouldn’t come to pass.
“The bottom line is that we’ll be bringing 60 to 100 jobs to the area,” said Park.
“I know the local council is pretty adamant on bringing in more business, bringing in more tax revenue. We want to be a source of that tax revenue. We want to be a portion of the local community, being part of Courtenay.”
He hoped that a building permit would be in the works by the fall. As for a ground-breaking on Monday, he indicated it wouldn’t be taking place.
“There is going to be one representative from Atlas, and I’m going to be up there, and that’s it,” said Park.
Reached on Friday for comment, Jangula stated that Atlas has now been in contact with the city’s planning department. He also said it looked like the group behind the proposal had “really jumped the gun”.
“I don’t think this group has done any consulting with the neighbourhood, obviously there is going to be some smell issues, there is going to be some traffic issues, and there are servicing issues with water and sewer for that property,” said Jangula.
“So in my opinion they are quite a long ways ahead of the curve on that one.”
He also said he didn’t understand why the company would choose to locate in a built up area.
“There’s so much agricultural land, and remote agricultural land,” said Jangula.
“I don’t understand why they wouldn’t set up where there are no neighbours.”
The proposed location is close to the Millard Creek Park.