Sooke council will take no further action on bylaws in regard to Medical Marijuana Production Facilities

Council backs away from MMPF

Concerns seen to out weight benefits for Sooke council

An amendment to zoning Bylaw 582 would have seen Medical Marijuana Production Facilities as permitted uses in rural, agricultural and industrial zones in the District of Sooke.

The amendment had already passed unanimously through first and second reading in February, 2014, but at the April 14 council meeting some members of council backed away from endorsing the bylaw. Amendments also included definitions of “horticulture” and “Medical Marijuana Production Facilities (MMPF).”

A public hearing was held on April 14 to guage the public sentiment on the zoning amendment.

Only one person stood up to speak to the issue. Michael Nyikes, president of the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce, stated investors had met with the chamber and had multi-millions of dollars to spend on medical marijuana production facilities.

“It is an economic development opportunity,” said Nyikes. “It creates local jobs and local convenience and additional tax revenue.”

There were comments made about the tax revenue from those agricultural properties versus  commercial tax revenue. If the property is used for agriculture, ie: MMPFs, then the tax rate is calculated accordingly. It would not be commercial.

A motion was made by Councillor Herb Haldane to keep all MMPFs in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Discussion ensued on the agricultural zones located in the Whiffin Spit area and the possibility that MMPFs could be located there.

Mayor Wendal Milne stated he was worried about the impact on neighbours if MMPFs were attached to a specific zone.

Councillor Kerrie Reay said she felt this whole MMPF issue was moving too quickly and that marijuana was still an illegal drug.

There was discussion on the rights of people who are already growing medical marijuana for themselves.

Councillor Rick Kasper said he did not want to see “people’s rights trampled.”

It was made clear that on issues of what happens on ALR land, the Agricultural Land Commission was in charge and their authority trumped the district’s.

Concerns were raised by referral agencies as to location of MMPFs, as in proximity to regional parks and trails, setbacks, access to site in case of emergency, hazardous materials on site and the need for a fire safety plan.

Planner Gerard LeBlanc said that restrictions could be put into place in the bylaw to limit where MMPFs could be located.

In March the Federal Court granted an interlocutory constitutional exemption allowing production of medical marijuana in a home or private dwelling legal, thereby preserving the  rights of authorized users and producers. This would be for a set period before it came before the court again.

In the end vote, it was a tie and the motion was defeated. Council made a motion to wait until the federal court case is settled to deal with this issue – in about nine months.

Just Posted

Volunteer needed to empty dog poop can in Saanich Park

Local volunteers do the work of irresponsible dog owners at Mount Doug

Sexual assault charge dropped against from CFB Esquimalt member

Navy Lt. Ronald Clancy was charged with two counts of sexual assault in August 2018

Vancouver Island overdue for the big one, can also expect mega-thrust tsunami

The last big earthquake was 70 years ago in Courtenay

BC Ferries considers passenger only ferry between West Shore and Victoria

Royal Bay, Esquimalt and Ship Point considered as part of study into new route

Sentence handed down for sex assaults committed more than 30 years ago

Man in his 80s will serve a conditional sentence in the community

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Reeling Port Alice about to lose its only bank

Scotiabank branch closure follows latest mill setback, bad for business and the elderly

Most Read