Medicinal grow-ops debated

Lumby council gave first reading Monday to a bylaw that clarifies the rules for possibly growing medicinal marijuana

Significant questions are surfacing over large-scale medicinal marijuana production in Lumby.

Council gave first reading Monday to a bylaw that clarifies the rules for possibly growing medicinal marijuana in industrial and agricultural zones.

However, Coun. Jo Anne Fisher says council was not consulted before the bylaw was drafted.

“The bylaw came from staff and the mayor,” she said.

“There are errors in the way the bylaw was written. I am not against medicinal marijuana but we need to control how they operate.”

Among the issues to be addressed are odour, waste disposal, traffic, ventilation and safety/security.

About 200 acres in Lumby could potentially be used for medicinal marijuana under federal regulations that shifts production from home-based facilities to large operations.

Fisher questions why staff didn’t propose a bylaw that prevents such activities in Lumby.

“That was never discussed as an option and they never discussed if we could zone a smaller area,” she said.

Mayor Kevin Acton welcomes moving medicinal marijuana grow-ops out of residential neighbourhoods, but he admits to having reservations about industrial uses.

“We will refer it out to other agencies that have more knowledge of the issue such as the RCMP,” he said.

“There are a lot of holes in this plan. Municipalities have no control over what goes on agricultural land. I am concerned they will be a manufacturing plant rather than an agricultural use.”

Discussion on the proposed bylaw will continue at council and officials will seek input from residents.

“I’m looking forward to what the public has to say,” said Fisher.