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New North Greenhouses sets stage for cannabis sales near airport

City planner thinks it'd be a swell idea to sell munchies with that weed

Sault Ste. Marie City Council will be asked Monday to approve retail sales of cannabis and other items from a new log building on Airport Road.

John Carroll, owner of New North Greenhouses, is asking for an official plan amendment and rezoning allowing retail trade on the property, located about 810 metres north of Dr. Roberta Bondar Parkway.

"New North Greenhouses sells plants, trees and home and garden décor items," says city planner Jonathan Kircal.

"The addition of up to 500 square metres to be used as retail trade space is being requested. The sale of cannabis, food, home décor, and gift shop items will occupy approximately 200 square metres," Kircal says in a report to Mayor Provenzano and councillors. 

"The remaining 300 square metres is unplanned for at this time. The retail space would be in addition to any retail space that is associated with the property’s existing greenhouse use, for example, garden supply sales."

Kircal points out that Carroll has other big plans for the operation, including more greenhouses and a micro-cultivation cannabis facility.

"These uses are permitted by the existing zoning and are not part of this application," Kircal says.

"The surrounding area is an activity and employment hub consisting of residential, campground, outdoor recreation, motorsport, industrial and institutional uses."

"Airport Road is the only thoroughfare to these destinations, as well as to the residential areas of the Pointes and Nokomis Beach."

"Retail trade, which can include specialty and convenience stores, is appropriate for this location and can augment surrounding uses."

"From a land use perspective, permitting small forms of retail is commensurate to the growth and diversification that has occurred in this area."

And Kircal is thinking the new cannabis shop might also be able to roll up a lot of munchie sales.

"Staff is recommending that food services be added as this would permit dining and take-out services that would benefit the area," he says.

"The requested 500-square-metre maximum size would conveniently serve a market consisting of rural residents, travellers and workers."

"The 7.8-hectare property has wide setbacks and is large enough to mitigate against off-site impacts such as customer and freight traffic, noise, light and other common sources of nuisances."

"As per provincial policy, a municipal bylaw cannot prohibit cannabis stores where retail trade is permitted. This proposal meets the municipality’s separation distance guidelines to not be located within 150 metres from a school, addiction treatment facility, park or community centre."

"The 150-metre provincial requirement from a school is also met. Therefore, the approval of this application would result in the ability to sell cannabis on the subject property."

A permit from Sault Ste. Marie Conservation Authority would be needed prior to any development on the site.

Monday's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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