Medical marijuana operations to be regulated in northwestern B.C.

Northwestern B.C. pot grow bylaw to be adopted

Medical marijuana growers now to have set of regulations

The medical marijuana bylaw regulating the siting and construction of medical marijuana production facilities within the area of the Kitimat-Stikine regional district is set to be adopted by its board at its October meeting after several public hearings found no objections during the course of the year.

Public hearings held in Terrace and Hazelton in July and September were to consider submissions from the public and hear any concerns.

No submissions were received.

Those who attended the hearings – nine people July 19, one person in Hazelton July 20 and three people Sept. 7 – had no concerns with the bylaw, said notes in the regional district’s September meeting agenda.

Concern was expressed with meetings being held in summer when people were on vacations and said there should’ve been more public notice, said the agenda notes.

The bylaw was needed as new federal regulations, the Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, replace previous legislation found to be unconstitutional and continue to allow commercial producers to obtain and construct production facilities to produce medical marijuana, continued the agenda.

Changes now allow people with a medical marijuana licence to grow their own plants or designate someone to grow them, it continued.

Bylaw regulations will outline how far grow operations must be from schools, daycares, churches and public spaces.

With no public concerns about the bylaw, the public hearing committee of chair and director for Thornhill, Ted Ramsey, Terrace rural area director Jessica McCallum-Miller and Terrace city councillor James Cordeiro, who represents Terrace on the board, recommended that the bylaw proceed to third reading. At the September 16 regional district meeting, the bylaw passed the third reading by the board, sending it for adoption at the Oct. 21 meeting.

The moves pertaining to medical marijuana within Canada come at the same time as authorities are set to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

That follows on a campaign promise made by the federal Liberal government during the election campaign of a year ago. Legislation is to be introduced in Parliament next spring.