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Ottawa farmer wants to produce marijuana

Ottawa farmer wants to produce marijuana

Peter Abboud’s plan includes vegetable greenhouse conversion

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter

An Ottawa vegetable producer wants to convert his greenhouse operations to produce cannabis.

Peter Abboud currently grows tomatoes, beans and cucumbers for farmers markets in neighbouring communities.

But as co-CEO of LiveWell Foods, a company “dedicated to the highest quality standards in delivering cannabis and hemp products,” Abboud’s vision includes a total of one million square feet (about 22 acres) of cannabis production. The project includes converting existing greenhouses and constructing new ones.

But not everyone is on board with the idea.

Gary Scharf, a horse owner who lives next door to Abboud’s farm, is concerned about potential fencing issues and the esthetics in the area.

“We have animals (and) horses so we have to maintain these line fences between the properties,” he told CBC on Friday, adding that the security around the marijuana operation would look like a prison.

Abboud does, however, have the support of his local councillor.

Abboud’s operation falls in George Darouze’s ward. When a re-zoning application is brought forward to the agriculture and rural affairs committee on Thursday, he will vote in favour of the application’s approval.

The operation could create up to 800 jobs in the community, according to the Ottawa Business Journal.

Cannabis “is an agricultural plant, and I’m in an agricultural ward,” Darouze, who is also the vice-chair of the agriculture and rural affairs committee, told the Ottawa Business Journal on Jan. 29.

About 22 Ontario medical marijuana operations have received licenses in the past six months to produce the crop, according to CBC.