A 30-acre lot in Ridgeway, Ont. is set to become a brand-new cannabis farm, but not if locals can help it.
The property was sold earlier this year for about $600,000 after a few months on the market, with the intention of turning it into a production and cultivation facility for Greenherb Farms.
But as the land is prepared for farming — tall fencing installed and trees and brush cleared — outraged neighbours have formed a group. The group is circulating a petition to prevent the farm from taking root, citing concerns about odour, environmental destruction, traffic and historical value.
But unlike in a number of other communities both north and south of the border — where neighbours have shied away from blaming stigma and societal attitudes for their aversion to living near a cannabis farm — neighbour Cathy Tatarnok was open about her reason for objecting to the farm.
“It’s the stigma of being near it,” Tatarnok, told Niagara This Week, adding she believes that her home could depreciate in value of up to $100,000 if the farm is allowed to proceed (recent data suggests that this is highly unlikely).
“We’re getting ready to retire, sell the house, but now this could affect how much we can put away for our retirement,” she argued.
Another neighbour objects to the farm because of its proximity to the Ridgeway Battlefield National Historic Site, which lies 200 m (or 656 ft) away.
“To me, this is hallowed ground,” Jim Rogozinski told Niagara This Week. “Those nine men who fought and died for us, they’re Canadian veterans. The memorial to them still stands just across the street there. Imagine some child going to visit that memorial someday, and all they can smell is cannabis while they’re there.”
It is, however, hallowed ground that is owned by someone else (official recognition refers to the approximate limits of the 1866 battlefield).

Other residents object to the farm on environmental grounds, saying that rare and protected species reside on the land, although the site was previously a farm and is zoned for agricultural use.
Marina Butler, a Ridgeway councillor who is also the sister of local businessman, and Greenherb founder Tony Claroni, say neighbours’ concerns, the primary one being the potential odour, have already been addressed. (Butler has informed her colleagues and the town’s integrity commissioner of a potential conflict and the farm is not located in her ward).
But since the farm will be growing organic cannabis, Butler told Niagara This Week, it will emit less odour, and the farmers intend to plant a buffer zone of pine trees around the property to mitigate odour.
Ridgeway is home to beef, horse, alpaca and lavender farms, which all emit odour, but none of which have been publicly opposed.
Greenherb Farms is likely to create at least 40 full-time positions in the village.

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Authored By: The Growth OpArticle category: Marijuana Business NewsMarijuana PoliticsRegional Marijuana News: Ontario
READ MORE: https://420intel.ca/articles/2019/11/19/odours-beef-lavender-farms-fail-raise-same-stink-among-neighbours-planned