Licensed grow-op coming?

New laws come into effect April 1; this is the first one city has heard about.

The City of Parksville has been notified about the plans for a medical marijuana grow-op on agricultural lands within the municipality.

Director of planning Blaine Russell told The NEWS on Wednesday there’s not much the city can do about the plans on property that fronts Stanford Avenue, even if it wanted to fight or support the application.

“The city doesn’t have much of a role in this particular case because the property is in the Agricultural Land Reserve,” said Russell. “We can’t fetter a farm use as defined in the ALR.”

As of April 1, the only legal source to obtain medical marijuana in Canada will be through licensed producers authorized by Health Canada to produce and distribute marijuana to those with valid prescriptions.

Russell said this is the first and only application the city is aware of in its jurisdiction and he said the city was notified as “a courtesy.”

“We have received notification from one property that they are seeking an application from the federal government for a medical marijuana grow operation,” he said.

While the federal government issues the medical marijuana grow licences, the provincial government administers ALR lands.

Russell said some people might have a preconceived notion when they hear the words ‘grow-op.’

“A lot of people think of the seedy side of grow-ops,” said Russell. “This (the Stanford Avenue operation) would be a legitimately-licensed facility.”