City of Powell River council has approved amendments to a lease agreement with the proponents of a medical-marijuana facility being developed in the former Catalyst administration building.
Santè Veritas asked council to shorten its option to purchase the building to 45 days after Health Canada approval and remove the right of first refusal, including an exclusive option to purchase the building’s large parking lot for expansion.
Council passed a motion unanimously at its meeting on Thursday, July 6, to amend the 10-year lease with a 10-year renewal option at the recommendation of city chief financial officer Kathleen Day.
City of Powell River mayor Dave Formosa said he was confident the project will proceed as planned and Health Canada will issue a licence for the facility in the first quarter of 2018.
“They basically have their licence, but it’s subject to the property being built out per the plans, otherwise they wouldn’t spend these millions,” said Formosa. “As long as they do everything they promised to do in their application, they’ve got it.”
City economic development manager Scott Randolph said he shared Formosa’s optimism about the project, one the city has been working with Santè Veritas on since before the medical-marijuana company began the federal approval process in 2014.
“Their architect is well experienced in this area and has been involved in the development of four other facilities of this nature,” said Randolph, “so they’re in good shape.”
Randolph said the company is currently preparing the site for renovation and the city’s planning department received a development permit on Friday, July 7, with a building permit application expected soon.
The multimillion dollar Townsite facility is expected to create approximately 50 local jobs in its first phase.