Langley mayor Jack Froese and his counterparts in Abbotsford

Langley mayor Jack Froese and his counterparts in Abbotsford

Anti-marijuana mayors press agriculture minister to declare himself

Langley, Abbotsford, Delta and Kelowna are required to get provincial approval before they can ban medicinal marijuana on farmland

Langley mayor Jack Froese, Abbotsford  Mayor Bruce Banman, Delta mayor Lois Jackson and Kelowna mayor Walter Gray have sent a joint letter urging provincial agriculture minister Pat Pimm to say if he supports or opposes a ban on medical marijuana production on protected farm land.

The four municipalities are required by law to get provincial approval for any regulations that might affect farming within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) inside their borders.

The letter signed by all four mayors says they have a “collective desire to prohibit establishment of medical marijuana operations in agricultural areas” and asks the minister what his intentions are.

“We would appreciate knowing your position with respect to our request,” the letter reads.

The minister has so far refused to reveal whether he supports such restrictions, but the provincial agricultural land commission, which controls the ALR as an arms-length provincial government entity, has said medicinal marijuana would be considered a “permitted farm use.”

In the Township of Langley, at least one commercial greenhouse grower within its boundaries has begun cultivating medical marijuana to prepare for new federal regulations that will, next year, switch production from hundreds of small grow operations to a smaller number of bigger facilities.