Wildflower wants RDN to back off

Proposed pot production facility near Parksville a hot topic of discussion at regional district board meeting

River’s Edge residents have the RDN’s support, despite Wildflower Marijuana’s best efforts.

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board of directors voted unanimously Tuesday to send a letter to Health Canada backing River’s Edge residents who are rallying against Wildflower Marijuana’s proposal to set up a medical marijuana operation in the heart of their neighbourhood.

This RDN support came after a last-minute plea was received from the company’s lawyers urging the RDN not to send a letter to Health Canada that could hinder Wildflower’s business plans. RDN chair Joe Stanhope, who represents the River’s Edge region, has publicly stated his support for the residents and told The NEWS last week “I will go to the end of the earth to make sure this doesn’t happen.”

Wildflower’s corporate counsel Stephen Pearce alleged in a letter dated Sept. 29 Stanhope made “public defamatory statements against Wildflower” without consulting the company.

“It came to our attention yesterday (Sept. 28) that the chairman of the board, Joe Stanhope, has written a letter to the Honourable Rona Ambrose against our application,” stated Pearce. “The actions of Mr. Stanhope have caused Wildflower serious damages.”

The letter goes on to ask the board to “adjourn any consideration of approving a letter to Health Canada opposing our (Wildflower’s) application for a license under the MMPR and further damaging Wildflower’s business interests while we have a chance to consult with counsel.”

However, Wildflower’s letter did not deter directors from sending a letter to Health Canada stating the RDN’s opposition to the issuance of a medical marijuana permit at 1085 Paradise Place.

The board did pass a motion to send Wildflower’s letter to RDN counsel for review.

Wildflower Marijuana is proposing to build a 68,000 square foot medical marijuana production facility on ALR land that was formerly Paradise Acres Ranch, a 125-acre property in a Nanoose Bay suburb. The company has submitted an application to Health Canada and is currently waiting for approval. Residents in the area submitted a petition to the RDN with more than 300 signatures opposing the company’s location.

River’s Edge resident Lehann Wallace made her second plea at Tuesday’s meeting, where she told directors more than 90 residents have sent individual letters to Health Canada in stark opposition to Wildflower’s plans.

Wallace said she is “very grateful” for the ongoing support of the RDN.

The NEWS was unable to reach Wildflower Marijuana Inc. officials for comment by press time Wednesday.

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