Sam Mellace has been growing medical marijuana legally on agricultural land in FVRD Area F for a decade. FVRD's proposed zoning bylaws will permit him to remain on his land

Sam Mellace has been growing medical marijuana legally on agricultural land in FVRD Area F for a decade. FVRD's proposed zoning bylaws will permit him to remain on his land

Grow-ops welcomed in some FVRD areas; shunned in others

Big differences in how electoral areas and cities propose to regulate medical marijuana production.

Local communities are adopting widely divergent rules when it comes to regulating the production of medical marijuana.

Electoral areas and municipalities in the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) are deciding whether or not they will allow commercial grow-ops in their territories – and if so, under what type of zoning. The deliberations come in advance of new Health Canada rules, in effect April 2014, that prohibit medical marijuana users from growing their own supplies and restrict all production to largescale commercial operations.

FVRD electoral area directors have submitted their proposed zoning regulations, and each has a different approach. Area D, for instance, has proposed to ban grow-ops completely; Area A has proposed to allow them everywhere within its boundary.

Director Bill Dickey represents Area D, which covers Popkum and Bridal Falls.

“My community has its own character and personality, and I looked at the community and talked to some of our citizens, and my decision was that it should be prohibited in our community. We’re not looking to encourage that type of business,” said Dickey.

Area A director Lloyd Forman welcomes legal medical marijuana production facilities anywhere in his area, which includes Boston Bar. Forman explained that when a sawmill relocated from the area to Surrey some years ago, Boston Bar lost 300 jobs, and the community went from being the wealthiest in the district to the poorest.

“Jobs are really crucial on the list. My theory is, give me 25 or 30 legal jobs, and I’ll take them. Period,” said Forman.

Without business moving to the area, Forman is worried the community will start losing its existing services – the grocery store, the gas station – and living there will be very difficult.

“Whatever it takes for that level (of services), we do need something. So if it’s a marijuana plant, my people do not want to be left without any services,” said Forman.

FVRD Electoral Areas B and G propose to allow grow-ops in agricultural, industrial, and rural zones, with the exception of Yale town. Area F seeks to allow them in agricultural and industrial zones, while Area C wants to allow them in agricultural areas only.

Abbotsford and Mission, each an FVRD member municipality, have bylaws under consideration that ban new grow-ops entirely. Chilliwack has opted to restrict them to a special industrial zone reserved for businesses such as slaughterhouses and asphalt manufacturers.

After FVRD staff draw up the draft zoning bylaw amendments for electoral areas, the proposed regulations will go to public hearing and for approval by the board of directors.

Just Posted

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

There were a total of 182 deaths of trumpeter swans at Judson Lake over the past winter, according to the Save the Swans website. The lake has the heaviest lead concentration of any known lake, the website states. (PHOTO: savetheswans.ca)
Abbotsford man starts petition, saying lead shot is killing waterfowl in Judson Lake and beyond

Farmer Kevin Sinclair says local lake is ‘poster child’ for swans’ deaths from lead poisoning

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read