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Olds cannabis microprocessor's expansion proposal approved

Olds town council has approved a proposal by cannabis micro processing company Emprise Canada/Naturally Organic to more than triple the size of its existing facility in the Imperial industrial park
Municipal planner Kyle Sloan, far right, explains a proposal by cannabis micro processor Emprise Canada/Naturally Organic to more than triple the size of its facility in the Imperial industrial park in Olds.

OLDS — Town council has approved a cannabis micro processing company’s proposal that will more than triple the size of its existing facility in Olds. 

Emprise Canada Inc./Naturally Organic, which has operated at the corner of Imperial Road and Imperial Close since 2019, creates and distributes cannabis-based products. 

The company applied to the town for a development permit to construct an expansion to their existing facility. 

"In this particular proposal, the existing building is roughly 223 square metres and the addition is quite a bit more, bringing the total area of the facility up to 758 square metres,” municipal planner Kyle Sloan told council during its March 13 meeting. 

In 2020, the town gave permission for a seacan to be located in front of the property with a proviso that if the facility expanded, that seacan would be relocated to the rear of the property. The proposal includes that relocation. 

Parking was a concern. 

Under federal cannabis regulations, the fence surrounding the site has to be a certain distance from the buildings. The proposed site plan calls for the fence to be moved a few metres inside the property line. 

That will make it difficult for staff parking. 

The draft permit allows the company to provide parking on town-owned land. However, a condition of the permit requires the town and the company to hammer out an agreement for that use.  

The expansion proposal came to council because by law, all cannabis production facilities fall under Direct Control 7 districts, which are controlled by council. 

“I’m always happy to see a business succeed in our town. And this is obviously succeeding,” Coun. James Cummings said, adding he’s pleased that it’s a value-added business. 

Coun. Darren Wilson asked if the company’s expansion will qualify for property tax exemption under the town’s new rules. 

“Good question, it is very possible,” chief administrative officer Brent Williams said.    

Last month, town council passed a bylaw offering tax breaks for new or expanding businesses that employ at least two full-time personnel.    

However, these tax breaks apply only to municipal taxes. Property owners looking to obtain these exemptions will still have to pay seniors’ and school taxes on those properties.  

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