Cannabis plants growing at MediJean

Green light, rules for pot producers in ALR

Province limits cities' power to control development of marijuana producers on ALR farmland

The province has given the green light for medical marijuana to be produced in the Agricultural Land Reserve despite objections from some cities.

Along with the formal change to the ALR regulation making medical cannabis an allowed use is a standard that municipalities are expected to follow in passing local bylaws to control any federally licensed commercial pot producers within their boundaries.

Delta, Langley Township, Abbotsford and Kelowna must have approval from the province on any bylaws they pass affecting farmland, so Victoria has a hammer to force them to comply.

Other municipalities may have a somewhat freer hand in passing restrictions but they cannot prohibit licensed pot farms outright.

The province’s bylaw standard sets out setbacks from streams and property lines, a maximum footprint size for the facility, and minimum distances from parks, schools and urban or ALR boundaries.

The agriculture ministry said it expects all local bylaws to comply with the bylaw standard and the amended regulation by early fall, adding it sought to ensure as much ALR land is used for agriculture as possible while balancing other requirements.

Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese, one of the municipal leaders who opposed allowing the construction of heavily fortified pot factories on ALR land at all, said Friday he is studying the new rules.

Froese said the province appears to have taken into account many issues raised by municipalities, but added he is still concerned cities will face higher costs to regulate the facilities and police quiet country roads for any criminals they may attract.

“The biggest concerns we have is safety and protection of the environment,” he said.

Langley Township has already set a business licence fee of $5,000 for medical marijuana producers and Froese hopes that won’t have to change.

“That gives us some control over inspection and that’s important,” he said.

“Medical marijuana, as far as I’m concerned, is a pharmaceutical. It’s a lot different than just growing tomatoes.”

Under the provincial rules, pot producers on ALR land will still have to pay industrial property tax rates, not the lower agricultural rate.

Just Posted

White Rock rail forum leads to renewed calls for relocation

Upgrading safety is not enough say local politicians

McCallum says Surrey LRT communication plan close to election is ‘perceived interference’

McCallum ‘gravely concerned’ Surrey and TransLink will violate election financing rules, but city says all rules will be followed

White Rock’s Johnston Road to re-open on schedule: city

One lane in each direction expected to open by Friday at 7 p.m.

Two Surrey volleyballers set to play for Team Canada

Brianna Beamish and Kiera Van Ryk in Japan for FIVB World Championships

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read