Strict security would be required for any medical marijuana grow-op and would likely be in an industrial area.

Strict security would be required for any medical marijuana grow-op and would likely be in an industrial area.

Medical marijuana grow-op licenses tough to get

Proliferation will not be an issue in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area

Mike Hicks wants to tell the mayor of Richmond that Otter Point would be happy to supply all of Richmond’s medical marijuana requirements. Just recently Richmond council banned medical marijuana grow-ops fearing there could be a proliferation of such operations.

Mike Hicks, regional director for the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, doesn’t think this would be a problem for in the Juan de Fuca EA.. Only four licenses to grow, process and sell medical marijuana have been issued all across Canada.

“I don’t see them springing up all over,” said Hicks.

But if licenses are approved, a grow-op could be located in Otter Point. It is understood that the licenses to produce will be up to local government through their zoning. The province, said Hicks, will allow medical grade marijuana to be grown on ALR land. Hicks wants to consider grow-ops as intensive agriculture and by doing so any operation would have to adhere to large setbacks on agricultural land. The setbacks would be a 90m setback from the front and 30m on the side.

Sooke’s setbacks are 30m front and back and Metchosin’s are 60m on the front and 30m on the side. Grow operations could also be considered in industrial zones.

“We’re going to send that out for referral to our Agricultural Advisory Committee. Maybe our setbacks are too much. If you can meet that requirement — there you go, or you could ask for a variance.”

He said just because the federal government came up with a plan it doesn’t mean getting the correct zoning will be easy. Getting the zoning is not a right, it’s a privilege, stated Hicks.

Hicks does not want to see any “concrete bunkers.”

Currently there is an application in for a grow-op and processing facility in the industrial park in Otter Point. This would require the applicants to go through a rezoning process which includes consultation with any neighbours. The facility will not be a drive-to dispensary, any medical marijuana will be sent out to the customer. Everything is accountable to the government.

The applicants are a group of builders, doctors and pharmacists. The facility could employ up to 10 people, said Hicks.

With the  federal government about to change regulations in regard to medical marijuana grow operations it doesn’t mean everyone who applies for a license to grow and process marijuana will get the chance.

The regulations are extremely strict. Criminal record checks, security cameras monitoring everything and every square inch, intensive reports, safety features, types of clothing, etc. Every single scrap off the marijuana plants are accounted for as is the amount shipped from the facility.

“We like the way Health Canada has done this,” said Ian Laing, one of the partners in the proposed grow facility. “It’s done in a good way, it’s so hard it will weed people out.”

“Personally, I’m totally supportive of this, if it can be done it will be less obtrusive than a dairy farm,” Hicks said.

At the end of the day the ALR definition of intensive agriculture as it applies to medical marijuana production and the zoning application have been sent out for referrals which includes;  the District of Sooke, the JdF Agricultural Advisory Committee and the Otter Point Advisory Planning Committee.

“We didn’t deny, we didn’t okay, it’s gone out into the river of consultations. It will take six months of so,” said Hicks.

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

Just Posted

Postmark Group, an Edmonton-based development firm, bought two properties at 6641 and 6643 Sooke Rd. last year, and is reaching out to the community and local groups for feedback before they begin planning the designs for the development. (Photo contributed/Postmark Group)
Waterfront village development eyed for Sooke

Postmark Group development firm bought two properties at 6641 and 6643 Sooke Rd. last year

Friends have identified the man killed in Friday’s shooting in Metchosin as Shane Wilson. (Shane Wilson/Facebook)
West Shore RCMP continue to investigate shooting death in Metchosin

Man killed on Sooke Road Friday night identified by friends

Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)
Oak Bay changes the name of Fireman’s Park

New sign for Firefighter’s Park on the way

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

Ravi Jain, Why Not Theatre’s founding artistic director, will present a Zoom lecture as part of the University of Victoria’s Orion fine art series on March 8. (Photo: University of Victoria).
Award-winning directors highlight coming University of Victoria lecture series

The March 8 and 18 Zoom events are part of the Orion fine arts lecture series

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Hannah Ankenmann, who works with k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, winces as she received her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vancouver Island’s small remote towns to get community-wide vaccine clinics

Island Health to take a wholesale approach to immunization, rather than age-based appointments

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complaints about that condo

Most Read