Etobicoke brewery gets approval to enter medical marijuana business. Nearby residents are not happy
‘What’s going to happen with security if they are going to have marijuana there?’ resident asks
The owners of an Etobicoke Brewery are looking to expand into the medical marijuana business, but some residents say opening up that kind of operation in the area is too close for comfort.
Cool Beer Brewery has received approval from the city for a variance to a zoning bylaw, despite major opposition from residents who live nearby.
The zoning bylaw stipulates that marijuana facilities must be at least 70 metres from the nearest residence. In Cool Beer Brewery's case, the closest home is 45 metres, hence the need for the variance.
"There's a lot of worry that this is going to happen simply because they have money in their pockets, they're able to get lawyers," said Paul Neal, who's lived in the area for 10 years.
More than 40 of the 200 residents who live in the townhouse complex next door to the brewery wrote letters opposing the application for a variance.
"We hope they are not pulling the wool over the decision makers," Neal told CBC Toronto.
The decision handed down Thursday by the Etobicoke York Committee of Adjustment officially paves the way for the beer company to become a medical marijuana production facility.
Michael Bissett, a representative of the brewery, said they plan to take marijuana from facilities licensed around Ontario, extract the oils and send it back to the various facilities.
He stressed that no retail sales would be done at the site. There are also no plans to grow marijuana there.
Even so, Arthur McGlashan, who lives just steps away from the brewery, says he has numerous concerns.
"I just moved in, so property value, smell, potentially what's going to happen with security if they are going to have marijuana there, and then also additional truck traffic going in and out," he told CBC Toronto.
"This is the first step. Who knows what they might want to do in the future. Today they may not want to [grow marijuana] but there's no guarantee in the future that they won't want to do something more with it."
With files from Greg Ross