MediJean has a medical marijuana research facility in Richmond and is seeking a Health Canada licence to produce medical pot commercially.

Marijuana bunkers called waste of Canada’s best farmland

Metro Vancouver cities want safeguards but can't keep medical pot out of Agricultural Land Reserve

The province’s decision to allow heavily fortified medical marijuana production factories to be built on top of good agricultural farmland isn’t sitting well with municipal politicians.

Several Lower Mainland cities wanted the new commercial pot producers that are being licensed by the federal government to be relegated to industrial land, arguing the high-security buildings would be a better fit there.

Instead, the provincial government decided over the summer they will be allowed to be built on farmland, including in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The main concession from the province is that they’ll be taxed at the industrial property tax rate not at the lower agricultural rate.

Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese said one concern now is that cities will end up paying more for police to monitor sleepy agricultural roads for criminals that may be attracted to the new pot ventures.

“We really need to ensure the safety of our  residents,” he said, adding there are also implications for the environment, infrastructure and roads.

The province has tabled proposed guidelines for local municipalities to regulate the new marijuana producers and has asked for comment on them.

Froese said cities are now seeking the strongest possible protections.

“We want to deal with things like setbacks, hedging and air quality,” he said.

Richmond Coun. Harold Steves insists it’s senseless to waste “the best farmland in Canada” on highly fortified bunkers that could have been placed in industrial zones.

“This is not soil-based agriculture,” he told Metro Vancouver’s Oct. 10 board meeting. “It’s not even greenhouse-type agriculture like you get in Delta and Richmond. It’s totally enclosed.”

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan argued they will be “twice as bad as greenhouses” and will detract from the cooperative spirit of local agriculture.

“If a marijuana operation becomes your next door neighbour, it’s certainly not going to be a very collegial relationship,” Corrigan said. “You’re not going to be borrowing each other’s tractors.”

Some cities have sought legal opinions on whether they can ban marijuana producers from ALR land despite the province’s decision, but Froese said he doesn’t believe that would be viable because pot producers would be protected under B.C.’s Right to Farm Act.

Just Posted

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

ELECTION: Langley Township council candidate Michael Pratt

A Voter’s Guide to key election questions.

VIDEO: Fire crew mopping up workshop fire near Golden Ears Bridge

Structure fire at 208 and 102B sending plumes of black smoke into air above Walnut Grove

Two Giants picked to play against Russia

Two of Langley’s junior hockey players will be part of the six-game Canada Russia Series next month.

Police want to talk to two pedestrians who might have witnessed shooting

Nobody injured in Sept. 18 shooting on Flagman Street in Abbotsford

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

‘A little odd’ B.C.’s biggest city celebrates cannabis without a legal store

On the streets of downtown Vancouver, notably the Wild West of illegal marijuana, not a single legal store opened Wednesday, making for a rather anticlimatic kick-off

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

Most Read