No concrete-based pot operations allowed on agricultural reserve land. (File photo)

Restrictions on pot operations on farm land welcomed by North Cowichan

Marijuana production not allowed on concrete bases

Federal regulations prohibiting marijuana production in North Cowichan’s Agricultural Land Reserve in structures with concrete bases are welcome to the municipality’s council.

In a report to council, community planner Mairi Bosomworth said that, while the municipality now defines marijuana production in the ALR as a “farm use” in accordance with federal regulations, additional regulatory changes have since been adopted by the Agricultural Land Commission that place more restrictive requirements on marijuana-production facilities in the ALR.

She said that pot production is now designated by the ALC to be a “farm use” in a number of circumstances; including outdoors in a field, inside a structure that has a base consisting entirely of soil, inside a structure that had been, before July 13, 2018, constructed for the purpose of growing crops, and in an existing licensed operation.

Last April, North Cowichan’s previous council sent a letter to Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham reiterating the municipality’s long-standing preference against the siting of marijuana-growing operations on ALR land, with a preferred alternative of siting them on industrially-zoned lands where possible.

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN AGAINST POT OPERATIONS ON AGRICULTURAL LAND

The letter also stated that if pot production is allowed in the ALR, North Cowichan should be granted authority to establish development permit requirements to address the siting of these facilities to reduce their impact.

One of the major concerns council had with placing pot operations on ALR land is the loss of farmland to cement-based, industrial-style, cannabis-production bunkers.

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said at the council meeting on April 3 that the federal regulations not allowing pot operations in cement-based structures is “heartening” to him.

“I’ve been ranting for some time that losing productive farmland to these operations is not good public policy,” he said.

“Their base must be soil so, at the end of the day, if the operations fails, the property will stay as farmland. This is a very positive step in the right direction.”

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN ALLOWS MEDICAL POT ON AGRICULTURAL LANDS

There are currently no marijuana production facilities of any kind in North Cowichan’s ALR.

North Cowichan allowed medical marijuana growing facilities on its ALR lands for the first time in 2017 when new federal regulations were implemented.

The decision was made reluctantly after North Cowichan, and other B.C. municipalities, were sent a set of guidelines from the ministry that local governments are encouraged to follow in adopting bylaws for marijuana growing facilities.

Council also decided at its meeting on April 3 to give the first and second reading to a bylaw amendment to allow “micro-cannabis” production facilities in some of its commercial areas.

Micro-cannabis production facilities are only allowed up to 200 square metres of space for production, much smaller than standard and much larger production operations which are typically around 14,000 square metres.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Editorial: Tree protection bylaw for North Cowichan overdue

One of the things that the most desirable neighbourhoods often share in various communities is trees

Second annual Shawnigan Lake clean up day set for April 28

“Collective efforts DO make a difference!”

VIDEO: ‘A Night of Bowie’ brings the spirit of an iconic performer to Cowichan

Rock to funk, dance to ballad: Bowie’s music has it all

Lots of family fun as Mill Bay Centre holds its annual Easter Egg hunt at Brentwood College

A sunny morning, lots of chocolate eggs, and time with the family: winning combo at Mill Bay

VIDEO: Duncan-Nanaimo’s Funkanometry bow out of ‘World of Dance’ with ‘After Hours’ routine

Judges praised them as entertainers, and urged them to work a bit more on their dancing

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Coming up in Cowichan: Easter Eggspress; knitting workshops

Hop aboard the Easter Eggspress at the BCFDC The Easter Eggspress is… Continue reading

Early data suggests no post-legalization spike in drug-impaired driving charges

Many police departments are prioritizing investigations related to drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Most Read