October 08, 2013 - 3:26 PM
VERNON - The North Okanagan Regional District has been asked to move a piece of property into the Agricultural Land Reserve so that marijuana can be grown on it.
RDNO planning manager Rob Smailes says the application was for 38.5 hectares of land on McQuinna Road, in rural Lumby. The application passed easily, with a near unanimous vote from the RDNO board. With the board's approval, the application will now go to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).
“The ALC considers growing marijuana to be a farm use,” Smailes says.
The application is part of the country’s new scheme for the production of medical marijuana. Once legal residential grow-ops will once again be against the law, while large factory farms will take over production.
Medical marijuana is already grown on the McQuinna Road property, along with garlic, oregano and cedar oil. The applicant proposes to construct additional buildings to support a larger scale marijuana operation. Under Health Canada’s new rules, they will have to meet strict safety requirements.
While growing marijuana is now permitted by the land commission, Smailes says it gets complicated when it comes to processing and packaging. Those things might be considered non-farm use activities and require further applications.
While this is the first application of its kind to fall on the regional district’s table, Smailes doubts it will be the last.
“We are expecting more,” he says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013