Sudbury council considers medical marijuana industry

Greater Sudbury is getting ready for the day when a medical marijuana grower wants to set up shop in the city.

City planners recommend a public meeting be held on growing prescription pot in Sudbury

Sudbury city councillors will be talking about pot at Monday night's planning committee meeting. City staff are asking council to consider regulations on medical marijuana facilities that want to set up in Greater Sudbury. (CBC)

Greater Sudbury is getting ready for the day when a medical marijuana grower wants to set up shop in the city.

At a planning meeting Monday night, councillors will consider regulations on where and how prescription pot can be grown in the city.

Sudbury city planners just want to be prepared and have regulations in place before they get a pitch for a legal grow-op. They say the city has to decide if medical marijuana facilities are industrial or agricultural — and if they should be allowed close to residential neighbourhoods.

Several companies bidding on federal growing licences, have expressed interest in setting up in northern Ontario.

But Saskatchewan-based CanniMed is one of only a handful of firms that is currently producing medical marijuana.

President Brent Zettl said the location of their facilities is kept secret for security reasons.

"The neighbours know we're here, but we have a low enough profile that most folks don't know what it is we're doing."

Scouting locations across Canada, Zettl has run into a range of different regulations and attitudes to medical marijuana.

"Certainly some communities are much more receptive than others."

Greater Sudbury will soon decide how receptive it wants to be, and city staff are suggesting citizens should get a chance to have their say on medical marijuana at a public meeting.

While the government is opening up the market to new producers, Zettl said he doesn't expect to see a grow-op in every city.

"It's been surprisingly slow,” he said.

“I think we've had more inquiries from people who want to get into the business than patients that actually want to subscribe to the program."


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