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Mayor's Letter to Minister of Agriculture – October 24, 2014

Oct 29, 2014

Letter from the Mayor's Office to The Honourable Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture:


Re:  Medical Marihuana Production Facilities in the Agricultural Land Reserve

Thank you for providing Delta with the opportunity to comment on the Ministry’s discussion paper entitled Regulating Medical Marihuana Production Facilities in the ALR: Discussion Paper and Proposed Minister’s Bylaw Standards. Delta’s comments pertaining to the questions posed in the discussion paper as well as the proposed criteria are provided in the enclosed staff report dated October 9, 2014. Delta Council endorsed the comments at its Regular Meeting on October 20, 2014.

Although we have reviewed the proposed criteria and submit comments regarding their efficacy in the context of Delta’s agricultural lands, our position remains that medical marihuana production is not appropriate in the Agricultural Land Reserve, and therefore local governments should not be prevented from prohibiting or controlling such operations within their own jurisdictions. I have taken the liberty of enclosing previous correspondence in this regard.

While we appreciate that the Ministry has followed through on its commitment to provide guidance to local government, it is our view that the proposed criteria do not fully address the concerns and questions previously posed by Delta’s Council and staff. In addition, Delta’s concerns about medical marihuana production facilities in the Agricultural Land Reserve are heightened by the fact that the Ministry considers this use to be nearly identical to that of traditional forms of agriculture, to the extent that the only differing criterion proposed is the requirement for a business licence.

It is also evident from the discussion paper that other local governments have taken approaches to regulating medical marihuana production in the Agricultural Land Reserve that differ from the proposed guidelines. I am once again requesting your assistance in understanding how this will be resolved, given that Delta, as a regulated municipality, is not in a position to unilaterally adopt bylaws regulating agricultural uses.

Your consideration of this letter and the attached comments regarding the questions raised in the discussion paper and the proposed criteria is appreciated.  

Yours truly,

Lois E. Jackson
Mayor

Enclosures

A. Staff Comments Pertaining to the Proposed Criteria
B. Staff Comments Pertaining to Questions Posed in the Discussion Document
C. Staff Report dated October 9, 2014
D. PowerPoint Presentation: A Summary of the BC Ministry of Agriculture Draft Bylaw Standards for Medical Marihuana Production Facilities in the Agricultural Land Reserve (737 KB)
ECorrespondence from Delta’s Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer to the Federal and BC Ministers and their Deputies (2.4 MB)