ISAS Meeting Minutes  -  January 11, 2016


The meeting was called to order at 7 PM by Chairman Ken Hardwick.


There was a quorum present with the following Board members in attendance: Gary Vanhorn, Herb Jolliff, Don Draeger, Ken Hardwick, David Thiel and Mark Matthews. There were approximately 70 residents of the airpark in attendance to hear the presentation by Mark Jennings on the proposal for a cannabis processing plan on the corner of Stryker Road and Skyraider Drive.


The minutes of the previous October 12, 2015 meeting were approved as written.


The minutes of the meeting were taken by Don Draeger, North Park Board member.


First was the presentation by Mark Jennings, the representative of the group who are in the process of attempting to set up a cannabil processing plant on the 1 and ½ acre northern parcel on Stryker Road nearest to Skyraider Drive. He is representing a group (been in business about 5 to 6 years) from the East Coast who have plants that make supplement products. They are looking to expand their business and have decided medical cannibis may be the next new pharmaceutical business to get into. The projected building size is approximately 5000 to 7000 square foot building with paved parking. There will be an estimated 8 to 10 employees who will have engineering backgrounds (I would assume it would most likely be chemical engineering) and they will be processing hemp/marijuana plant material to extract the CDB (not THC) compounds out of the organic material (Monday to Friday daytime schedule). They will be using a completely self-contained process called “Super Critical CO2 Extraction” which uses no volatile compounds (several other methods use organic solvents/alcohols/bezene/etc to extract the oils and compounds) but the CO2 “Super Critical” extraction process uses CO2 gas or liquid which is in a sealed process container which contains the organic plant matter, the CO2 is then compressed to about 10,000 psi until it becomes Super Critical where it exhibits all the characteristics of both a gas and a liquid. This pressure and the characteristics of the Super Critical compound (CO2) separates the waxes, oils, and organic chemical compounds from the plant material.  The pressure on the vessel then is released with the CO2 being recovered for reuse and the organic compounds oils and waxes being precipitated out of the gas stream for further processing. The chemical that is actually extracted in the process is called CBD and is not the THC that creates the “high” from the plant.  The CBD oil will be converted to gel caps (like fish oil or vitamin D supplements) and will be sold as a medical supplement for pain control for cancer patients and the like.  The processing plant is projected to be a wholesale plant only (no retail) and there is a desire by the developers to keep its location low key.  There will be little traffic impact as there will be deliveries of hemp/marijuana product (from licensed growers only) every two weeks to 1 month intervals.  The deliveries and shipments will be in box vans (described as 20’) and all aspects of that system is dictated by state statue. The security requirements for the site will be as required by the state mandates and there are Federal procedures which need to be followed for the plant to do business.  Mark did say that some R & D would be conducted at the site and to that end there would be some supply of organic solvents (as someone who used to work in a chemical R & D lab I am thinking it will be relatively small quantities -think a few liters- on site to enable that research.  He said the MSDS’s would be available to the public (Its actually a federal requirement that all businesses make their MSDS’s available to emergency responder organizations and the public).  He also said that his group also believed in giving back to the communities they operated in and would be willing to sign a statement to the effect that they would funnel some part of their profit through the city to benefit the community.


Mike Danko was there from the city to explain that the City of Independence has NO statutes or other regulation specific on limitations to this kind of business so the legal requirements are all addressed by the State as to the legalities of the business. The type of business qualifies as light industrial and the land across from the airpark is zone heavy industrial so it is a permissible type of business to be located there.  Mark Jennings and his group have not formally filed an application with the city as of yet and Mark had only contacted Mike about a week or so ago.  Mike had suggested to Mark that meeting with the neighbors might be a good idea.  If the residents want to do something about prohibiting this kind of manufactoring in the City then they needed to talk to their elected officials (city council) about passing the ordinances. if that doesn’t happen before the approval process for the project is completed then the plant would be built.


At this point the group is dealing with the Oregon State Department of Agriculture, State Fire Marshall also FDA.  Because of process used for extraction there is no toxic waste and facilities like this are required by regulation to be sited in cities and towns instead of, as was suggested in the meeting, in the desert.
I think from a practical standpoint that other than the material being processed, the plant being proposed could have been much worse in terms of effect of the potential for extremely hazardous chemicals being used in the process.  i don’t know how much pressure can be put out there to keep the group Mark represents from doing what they want to do.  i think (knowing the political process as I do) that by the time that city could pass the necessary ordinances the plant could possibly be built and in operation.  At that point as a preexisting business I don’t think that they could be forced to move. It would however keep an expansion of the plant  or new processing plants of this kind from being built in the city.  We are fortunate that it isn’t a rendering plant, tannery, rare metals plant or an electronic chip assembly plant that is being proposed as the potential for catastrophic events would be much more probable given the nastier chemicals and odors that are associated with those kinds of endeavors.  The fact is the land on Stryker at some point is bound to be developed and the airpark residents need to start working with the city council to see IF we can refine and put limitations on what kind of businesses can be located there.I am doubtful given LCDC guidelines that the zoning could be changed significantly.


The second piece of business that occupied as much time was Chuck West bringing ISAS up to date on the Salem Airspace Grab by the FAA.  Chuck has done a lot of work and is working on a letter to be sent out to our Senators and other elected officials to educate them on our concerns and turn the heat up on the FAA.  when the letter is ready the vested groups in ISAS will sign on to it to show our support.  I committed North Park to supporting this effort as I feel it supports our association. Chuck has done a lot of work and needs to be commended for his commitment to this issue.


We reelected the 2015 officers to carry over to 2016 and once again Ken Hardwick is Chairman, David Ullman is Vice-Chair and Robert English is Sec-Treasurer.


The meeting was adjourned at 9 PM. The next ISAS meeting is scheduled for April 11, 2016 - EAA Hangar  - 7 PM