Medical Marijuana Grow Op Raises Neighbourhood Concerns
Prince George, B.C. – A large legal medical marijuana grow operation has some Blackburn area residents turning up their nose.
The neighbours complain the odour from the plants is wafting through the neighbourhood but there is nothing, at this time, that can be done about it.
“There was a meeting of administration and a couple of residents in that area” says Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall, “they talked about how, in some ways, our hands are tied, but Administration is looking into it with the Federal Government to see under what policy or regulation they were able to establish out there.”
The problem seems to be in the transition from the former Health Canada regulation to the new one. Licensed producers under the old regulation (Marihuana for Medical Access Regulation) generally operated without any local government approvals (i.e. Building Permit, Business License and Zoning). The former regulation also did not provide regulations in regards to ventilation or the reduction of impacts to adjacent residential uses.
Health Canada describes the new Medical Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations as “aim to treat dried marijuana as much as possible like other narcotics used for medical purposes by creating conditions for an industry that is responsible for its production and distribution. Licensed producers need to meet extensive security requirements and they must notify their local government, local police force, and local fire officials of their intention to apply to Health Canada, so that local authorities are aware of their proposed location and activities.”
It appears that in the case of the Blackburn area operation, that notification didn’t happen which may be a result of the licenses granted under the old regulation being grandfathered into the new regulation but being allowed to follow the initial rules that were in place when the license was initially granted.
When it comes to monitoring or inspection of such grow sites, Health Canada says it conducts “routine inspections of licensed producers of marijuana for medical purposes, to verify their ongoing compliance with the regulations” On the Health Canada web site, Health Canada says ” It is expected that licensed producers of marijuana for medical purposes will take timely and appropriate corrective actions when any issue of non-compliance with the MMPR is brought to their attention.”
Mayor Hall says while City Administration is going to connect with the Federal Government to see what, if anything, can be done to address the odour issue from the Blackburn grow operation, but he is also aware Ottawa plans to move forward to legalize marijuana “They made an announcement at the UN that they were going to proceed with the potential of legalizing marijuana, so we’ll have to see what this means. But I know staff ( City) will work with the Feds to see what position they’ve taken and what we can do .”
As for addressing the concerns of the Blackburn residents, it seems the only thing the City can do at this point is to meet with the operators and request that something be done in the way of ventilation in order to reduce the fumes.
In the interests of security for the neighbourhood, 250News is not publishing the exact location of the site