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Top Stories of 2013: No medical pot on ag land, says Chilliwack

Chilliwack was one of the first communities in B.C. to decide what to do when federal laws come into effect for growing medical marijuana.

Council chose to restrict the production by commercial growers to a “special industrial zone,” and the reasons cited were to prevent irritants like offensive odours, security risks, and bright lights.

Council approved bylaws in 2013 regulating medical marijuana grow operations (MMGOs), and prohibiting them in all zones in Chilliwack, except an amended M6 special industrial zone.

One of the implications is that the medical grows will not be allowed to grow in agricultural areas.

Other types of businesses operating in the M6 zone include abattoirs or slaughterhouses, asphalt manufacturers and sewage treatment plants, and now MMGOs.

Although Health Canada will retain responsibility for inspections and enforcing regulations, the city can control specific conditions in the special industrial zone.

Update: The city has to be ready in time for when the federal rules kick in on April 1, 2014, hence the new bylaws now in place. Other cities have made similar regulations, some opting to allow the production on ag land, others also restricting it to industrial zones.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno

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