Montreal West plans new zoning for marijuana grow-ops

The city of Montreal West is restricting the zones where medical marijuana is allowed to be grown, in anticipation of new Health Canada regulations.

Mayor Beny Masella says changes will restrict commercial suppliers to industrial sector

Montreal West makes changes to restrict location of medical marijuana facilities. 2:16

The city of Montreal West is restricting the zones where medical marijuana is allowed to be grown, in anticipation of new Health Canada regulations.

As of April 1st, patients with a prescription will no longer be able to grow their own marijuana.

Instead, they will have to purchase it from licensed commercial suppliers.

Montreal West Mayor Beny Masella said the city started to think about the impact of the rule change, after receiving a phone call from a member of the public.

"They said 'Do you have zones where medical marijuana would be allowed to be grown?' So we looked at ourselves and said, well we don't have any rules that prohibit it in any area."

Masella wants to change zoning bylaws so that a marijuana grow-op would only be allowed in a small, semi-industrial part of town.

He made the proposal at a public consultation last night.

Masella said that while no one has applied for a growing permit yet, he wants to make sure that the city would have a say in where any such facilities could be located.

“As a pharmacist…I understand the validity and the need for medical marijuana, but there’s apprehension among some people. It still has a bit of a stigma associated with it, so let’s try and mitigate that,” he said.

"If there's any kind of security issue, let's keep it away from the residences completely.”

Executive director of the Medical Cannabis Access Society, Adam Greenblatt, spoke at the town hall meeting.

He said there’s no reason to be concerned.

"These producers are required to put very stringent security measures in place that protect these operations. So no matter where these places end up, they will all be fortresses."