HRM advised to ban outdoor marijuana plants and hire 8 pot bylaw officers

A report says the Halifax Regional Municipality will have to hire eight additional bylaw officers to enforce new municipal cannabis rules.

Enforcing the proposed municipal rules would cost nearly $1M a year, staff report finds

Canadians will be able to grow four marijuana plants once it's legalized, but in HRM they could be forced to grow them inside. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

A new report says the Halifax Regional Municipality will have to hire eight additional bylaw officers to enforce new municipal cannabis rules.

If council decides to follow all of the staff recommendations, it would cost about $970,000 a year.

Once finalized, federal laws will let people grow four plants on their own residential property. 

The HRM report cites concerns about the associated smell. They recommend only allowing plants to be grown inside the home.

They also recommend banning smoking cannabis on all municipal property and prohibiting private retail sales and cannabis-consumption venues.   

The province plans to allow cannabis to be sold at some Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation stores. HRM planners are still working on amendments to regulate the locations of any facilities for producing cannabis.

"Typically, they're located in industrial or business-park settings," said Jacques Dube, HRM's chief administrative officer.  "It's a question of a zoning bylaw."

Proposed fines will offset some of the costs. HRM staff recommend fines ranging from $25 to $2,000 for breaking the smoking rules and from $1,000 to $10,000 for growing cannabis outdoors. 

Councillors will debate the report Tuesday. Cannabis will likely be legalized by September. 

HRM staff are worried not everyone will enjoy the smell of marijuana plants and recommends letting people grow them indoors only. (Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press)

About the Author

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca