Bylaw clears hurdle for medical marijuana

Officials hope medical marijuana could ultimately boost Lumby’s economy

Officials hope medical marijuana could ultimately boost Lumby’s economy.

Council gave three readings Tuesday to a bylaw that would permit medical marijuana to be grown and processed on industrial property.

“It’s a great opportunity for Lumby,” said Coun. Nick Hodge,

“It could help create jobs and would be a good use of our industrial land.”

A public hearing about the proposed bylaw was held Tuesday and some residents provided feedback.

“We heard from someone who is interested in moving forward on industrial property (with a facility) but we also heard about a concern about facilities being too close to the school,” said Hodge.

However, any potential development sites near the school are outside of Lumby’s boundary and would be under the jurisdiction of the Regional District of North Okanagan.

One issue village council is still trying to determine is whether marijuana facilities on industrial land would receive agricultural status from B.C. Assessment. If that occurs, tax revenue could be impacted.

Mayor Kevin Acton insists medical marijuana should not be considered agricultural.

“If it’s medical, it’s pharmaceutical and that means it’s processed. It’s not just grown,” he said.

Before council can grant final adoption to the bylaw, it must receive approval from the Ministry of Transportation because the main industrial site in the community is near Highway 6.

“The industrial property is not right next to the highway so there shouldn’t be any concern,” said Hodge.