As the city waits for provincial approval to ban commercial medical marijuana grow-ops on agricultural land, a company looking to set up a legal grow-op on the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) has applied for a business licence.
Council decided on Monday to hold the application for 90 days.
As the country moves to a system of commercial grows – ending the current system of home production – the city has approved bylaws to ban the large-scale operations in the city, seeking to make growing any marijuana in Abbotsford illegal.
But banning grows on the ALR requires approval from the Ministry of Agriculture, which is still pending.
Canaweed Production Incorporated has applied to Health Canada to establish a grow-op at 36156 Vye Rd., near Upper Sumas Elementary.
The city can hold a business licence application for 90 days if it is in conflict with bylaws that are in preparation. The application will be held while the city waits for direction from the ministry.
The Agricultural Land Commission has previously stated that medical marijuana production is a permitted farm use and representatives from the BC Agriculture Council have also said that the legal growing of marijuana should be an option available to farmers.
A report from city staff said their recent inquiries with ministry representatives “have indicated that the minister has not rendered a decision on whether or not an approval of the amending bylaw is forthcoming.”
Medical marijuana users across the country won a reprieve last month, allowing them to keep growing pot at home after a federal court judge granted a temporary injunction, pending the outcome of a constitutional challenge that is still to be heard.
The federal government has announced its plans to appeal the decision.