Medical cannabis production a growing concern for West Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Medical cannabis production a growing concern for West Kelowna

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November 09, 2017 - 5:30 PM

WEST KELOWNA - Even as West Kelowna is trying to shut down marijuana dispensaries, it is fielding new inquiries about growing medical cannabis in industrial areas.

Communications supervisor Kirsten Jones said the city has received several inquiries about growing medical cannabis in industrial buildings under Health Canada's Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes regulations.

However, Jones said the city has yet to see a development application which would prompt official consideration.

The city already has one federally licensed cannabis producer Northern Lights Marijuana Company, Jones said.

Northern Lights is a subsidiary of DOJA Cannabis Co., which says on its website that it received a license to cultivate under Health Canada's regulations in June and is positioning itself for the recreational market when cannabis is legalized in 2018.

There are also some medical cannabis producers operating beyond the control of the city, Jones said.

“There are several non-conforming marijuana grow facilities in the West Kelowna Business Park that were permitted under federal medical marijuana legislation and now supersede municipal zoning regulations,” Jones said.

She had no estimate of the size of the facilities which were established before the current Health Canada regulations were put in place in 2016.

Jones said the city does not know how many personal production licenses may be operating in West Kelowna, either under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes regulations or the previous legislation.

“The number of personal production licenses that are growing medical marijuana in residential areas is unknown as this information has not been provided by Health Canada, despite several requests,” Jones added.

West Kelowna moved earlier this month to shut down the six marijuana dispensaries operating in the city, however some of them have remained open in the face of mounting bylaw fines.

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