Kamloops could approve a new medical cannabis grow facility, if the public approves.

The city saw an application Sept. 29 requesting council approve rezoning of an industrial lot to create the city’s first licensed cannabis producer. A public hearing on the application was approved the same day by council.

Kamloops councillor Tina Lange asked if this is the first of several applications for medical cannabis grow facilities, but development and engineering services director Marvin Kwiatkowski said, despite several inquires, this is the only formal application the city has received.

The owner of the industrial space plans to rent it to Kamloops neurosurgeon Dr. Richard Brownlee, who is currently in the process of applying for a Health Canada permit to grow cannabis.

The city has several requirements for the area to be rezoned from industrial to heavy industrial, including ventilation improvements and proximity of no less than 150 m to residential areas and public amenities frequented by minors.

The city report stated the closest conflicting facility is a daycare, located more than 190 m from the site.

“The operation is unlikely to impact residents or children in the area,” city planner Stephen Bentley reported. “Impacts on other businesses in the area are also expected to be minimal as the proposed operation is located in a secure, stand-alone building on a large parcel of land. Furthermore, as the proposed facility is of a horticultural nature, noise and vibration impacts are anticipated to be minimal in comparison to noise emitted from other businesses typical of major industrial parks and from the Trans Canada Highway.”

The report also noted the operation will need a plan to deal with odours escaping from the facility.

Ultimately, city planners supported the rezoning as the application met all regulations.

Kamloops residents will now get a chance to speak at a public hearing on the facility, to take place after Oct. 20.