Nanaimo council voted to forward five resolutions to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities; the resolutions, taken as a whole, are meant to make it easier to grow cannabis on ALR land. STOCK PHOTO

Can pot farming save Vancouver Island agriculture?

Nanaimo suggests easing ALR rules to help farmers augment their income with cannabis

A Nanaimo city councillor is suggesting cannabis as a cash crop that could help make farming on Vancouver Island more sustainable.

Nanaimo council, at its meeting Monday, voted 5-3 to forward five resolutions to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities; the resolutions, taken as a whole, are meant to make it easier to grow cannabis on ALR land.

Coun. Don Bonner brought forward the resolutions and said right now, the ability to produce cannabis on agricultural land is limited by government regulation.

“The intent of this is, believe it or not, to increase our food sustainability in that we would have an option for local farmers to augment their income by producing cannabis and then continuing to do the farming that they like, instead of having to work off their farms in secondary jobs,” Bonner said at a Jan. 28 committee of the whole meeting when he first gave notice about his resolutions.

The resolutions include requesting that the provincial government deem cannabis growing as a farm operation, expand the types of acceptable greenhouse structures and allow for retrofitting of existing greenhouses for cannabis production.

Coun. Ian Thorpe voted against forwarding the resolutions to AVICC, saying they wouldn’t apply to any great extent within the City of Nanaimo.

“We have very, very minimal agricultural land reserve areas within the city limits,” Thorpe said at this past Monday’s meeting. “And this is not a topic that council has ever debated or discussed amongst ourselves. So to put it forward as something that our council is supporting, I don’t think is the case without having that discussion.”

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong agreed with Thorpe, saying she didn’t have enough information to support the resolutions and suggested they would be better brought up at the Regional District of Nanaimo table.

Coun. Zeni Maartman noted that a lot of the language within the resolutions is around exploring options, so she supported advancing the resolutions to the AVICC to be discussed there.

The resolutions passed with Thorpe, Armstrong and Coun. Jim Turley opposed.

The AVICC convention will be held April 12-14 in Powell River.

Also at Monday’s council meeting, councillors signed a code of conduct and redirected $1 million for waterfront walkway work.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Woman charged in Saanichton stabbing

One man treated for injuries, released from hospital following Friday assault

Sooke’s First Nations have Iroquois links

References to the proud Iroquois race tend to make one think of… Continue reading

Avid Victoria cyclist’s legacy bike ride helps fund end-of-life care

2019 Denis Muloin Ride for Palliative Care invites cyclists for May 26 fundraiser

Funnyman coming to the West Shore

Comedy and television staple Billy Gardell performs at Elements Casino

Police-run Youth for Change and Inclusion camp bids fond farewell to tireless directors

Founder Sgt. Paul Brookes has run camp empowering youth and creating leaders for 16 years

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read