March 07, 2014 - 3:23 PM
VERNON - North Okanagan officials are taking another look at proposed regulations for medical marijuana facilities following protest from local producers.
During a public hearing Wednesday, medical marijuana producers presented their concerns to the Regional District of North Okanagan board.
The regional district is proposing to allow production facilities on industrial and agricultural lands when Health Canada’s new regulations come into effect April 1. But a draft bylaw states facilities will need to be constructed on a minimum of 19.77 acres for rural zones and 2.47 acres for industrial lots, and producers feel that’s too restrictive.
“They’re on smaller properties than the bylaw requires, but they basically meet all the other requirements,” director Kevin Acton says.
Acton says the criticism was enough to postpone a third reading of the bylaw to give staff time to consider making changes. The bylaw is expected to return to the board April 2.
Acton says the zoning bylaw is the district’s only way to keep tabs on the new commercial grow-ops.
“There’s a real sense of frustration, a lot of municipalities feel the federal government has unleashed this on us, and we don’t have a lot of information on how it will be enforced or policed. So we’re trying to deal with it in our zoning bylaws, which are our only abilities to control anything,” Acton says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014