British Columbia

B.C. says local governments can regulate pot growth on agricultural land

Local and Indigenous governments in British Columbia will be permitted to prevent marijuana production in their communities on land that is part of the Agricultural Land Reserve, but with conditions.

Cities can prevent industrial-style, cement-based and cannabis-production bunkers in their communities

Currently, only medical marijuana is allowed to be grown on B.C.'s Agricultural Land Reserve. (Aphria/Canadian Press)

Local and Indigenous governments in British Columbia will be permitted to prevent marijuana production in their communities on land that is part of the Agricultural Land Reserve, but with conditions.

The Ministry of Agriculture said in a release that the regulatory change is effective immediately and gives governments the right to prevent industrial-style, cement-based and cannabis-production bunkers in their communities.

However, the ministry says pot production can't be prohibited if it's grown lawfully in an open field, in a structure that is soil based, or in an existing licensed operation.

The new regulations allow local governments to prevent the alteration of existing cannabis production facilities in alignment with local planning and priorities in their communities.

A submission by the Union of B.C. Municipalities to the advisory committee looking at revitalizing the Agricultural Land Reserve asked it to determine if growing marijuana on reserve agricultural land is the best use of the property.

Last week, at the Metro Vancouver meeting where the submission was announced, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said: "I'm afraid we'll never see another blueberry."  

"It's all going to be greenhouses for cannabis."

The changes pertain only to land within the reserve, because local governments can already regulate or prohibit production on lands outside of the reserve.

With files from Justin McElroy

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