Complaints prompt city to change grow-op by-laws

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The City of Kamloops wasn't just reacting to federal legislation when it stoked the fires of access rights to medicinal marijuana, city planners say—it's reacting to complaints from residents.

The city is trying to get ahead of anticipated changes by Health Canada to commercialize medical marijuana. Health Canada is measuring its red tape on the specifics of how medicinal marijuana should be grown. But the city is also appeasing resident complaints. Planners say they have had two complaints in the last four months.

Planner Maren Luciani said they come from neighbours living beside residential grow-ops. She said resident complaints include improper chemical disposal, electricity safety, fire safety, mould, and noise from outdoor fans.

"The issue is that when the federal government issues a license to someone, they don't follow up to see whether they follow local and provincial regulations," she says. "Ultimately it comes down to the federal government missing the boat on how it would affect municipalities."

Without regulation, the city's hands are tied, she says.

"We have no (way) of knowing whether it's legitimate or not because Health Canada doesn't reveal the information," she says. "There's real concern by the property-use inspectors as well as RCMP and fire departments that we need to have more oversight. We're looking at those regulations coming in that would resolve some of the issues that municipalities face."


— Jessica Wallace

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