This current marijuana bunker is operated by Evergreen Medicinal near Michell Farms in Central Saanich. Saanich has asked for public input on measures that would prohibit such buildings. (Black Press File).

It is boom or bust for pot bunkers in Saanich at public hearing

Public hearing on controversial structures scheduled for Jan. 15

Another piece in the puzzle that is Saanich’s approach towards pot is falling in place.

A public hearing scheduled for Jan. 15 will consider plans to align the agricultural production of recreational cannabis with provincial regulations.

RELATED: Saanich to smoke out pot bunkers in Agricultural Land Reserve

Saanich wants to prohibit the emergence of bunker-style growing facilities in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) leading to the loss of arable farmland.

Proposed bylaw changes awaiting public input state the growing of pot only qualifies as a legal farm activity if it happens in open fields, in buildings with bases consisting of soil; and in existing and future crop-growing building under construction before July 13 — the deadline identified in a Aug. 15 bulletin from the Agricultural Land Commission concerning the cultivation of marijuana in the ALR.

RELATED: Central Saanich pot farm now on hold

RELATED: ALR land is no place for pot greenhouses, says Central Saanich group

Cannabis growing operations that do not meet those conditions represent non-farm uses that require approval from the Agricultural Land Commission under provincial regulations that allow municipal governments to control but not restrict the conditions of cannabis production.

Public opposition stopped a pot farm in Central Saanich earlier this year, with critics lamenting the pending loss of arable farmland. Farm proponents — who already operate a bunker-style facility to grow medicinal marijuana — noted that cannabis currently grows on 0.0000051 per cent of all ALR land in B.C. in suggesting that critics of the pot farm are really critics of legalization.

If Saanich council passes the measures, it will have resolved one question around the production of marijuana in Saanich. Coun. Nathalie Chambers has floated the idea of using light industrial areas for production. Also outstanding are regulations concerning the retail of pot.

Mayor Fred Haynes signalled last year strong support for the recreational cannabis industry as an economic opportunity.

“We [Saanich] are 30 per cent of the [regional] population, so we are 30 per cent of the market,” he said at the time. “This is a huge economic opportunity.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

District of Saanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke fitness facilities reopen to the public

Extra measures set in place to ensure user safety

Pandemic spurs egg-citement for backyard chickens in Greater Victoria

Fowl surge in popularity during COVID-19 pandemic

Pandemic profiles: Passion at the heart of community businesses

Businesses rely on community support to stay open

Saanich looks at allowing alcohol in parks after North Vancouver gives the green light

Bylaw allowing liquor in parks ‘a very positive idea,’ mayor says

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe comapaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Most Read