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Marijuana zoning rules on hold
Legal wrangling has placed the future of medicinal marijuana in rural communities in limbo.
The Electoral Area Advisory Committee has been preparing a bylaw on where medicinal marijuana can be produced. But that process could be impacted by the outcome of senior-level court action.
“We don’t know what to do with this based on the court judgement,” said Jackie Pearase, rural Enderby director.
A judge decided that people who were permitted to grow medical marijuana in their homes could continue to do so after a federal ban April 1 so those patients could launch a constitutional challenge of Ottawa’s move towards large-scale production.
The federal government is challenging the ruling.
“There is uncertainty over how this whole process will move forward,” said Rick Fairbairn, rural Lumby director.
“We’re going to proceed with the bylaw but we’re going to get more information first.”
EAAC has proposed allowing medical marijuana production in industrial and agricultural zones but there is a concern that B.C. Assessment will only apply the cheaper farm assessment to industrial land where marijuana is grown and processed.
“Farm status would mean a huge reduction in taxation ability,” said Fairbairn, adding that could undermine a community’s financial resources for providing public services.