Saanich Moves To Ban Grow-Ops In Concrete Structures

Saanich wants to ban marijuana grow-ops in concrete structures.

Saanich is proposing amending the municipality's bylaws to match provincial regulations for growing cannabis, which is allowed on Agricultural Land Reserve land, but only if it does not negatively impact the land's productivity capacity.  Meaning cannabis can be grown in an open field, in a structure with a soil base, in an existing licensed operation, or in a structure built before the rules took affect in July.

Saanich Councillor Judy Brownoff says cement structures can be harmful to the district's farm land.

"We want to ensure that we protect the soil.  I'm not a soil expert, but cement does have some issues around impacting PH in the soil.  So I don't know but I think this is a positive thing, because you want the soil to keep working.  You don't want it to stay stagnant and covered over." 

Brownoff adds she's worried of losing all the farmlands to marijuana production, and that there should be some protection for food production.  

"Are we going to use up all our ALR land to produce marijuana and lose the capability of running cattle or even growing greens.  You know, what's the percentage? I mean, there's no sort of comment about could all the ALR in Saanich be used up by growing marijuana."

The zoning bylaw amendment will go to public hearing on January 15th

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