Medical marijuana approved as farm use-little impact in North Island

New changes to the restrictions around medical marijuana for farm use will not have any effect in this area

The District of Port Hardy will not be impacted by recent changes that allow medicinal marijuana as an approved farm use.

Effective May 7, the Province announced a change to BC Agricultural Land Reserve that specifically identifies medical marijuana as a farm use which local governments can regulate, but not prohibit.

The Province is calling on local governments to review, and if necessary, amend their bylaws by the fall of this year so there is consistency across the province.

According to Director of Corporate and Development Services Jeff Long, the only Agricultural Land Reserves in the North Island are in the Nimpkish Valley and Sointula.

Regional District of Mount Waddington Administrator Greg Fletcher said all of the agricultural land reserve in Nimpkish Valley is under a tree farm licence and is used for forestry, “so it (the new legislation) wouldn’t apply in that area.”

In Sointula there is only one small parcel of agricultural land reserve.

The RDMW amended its zoning bylaws “prohibiting the production of marijuana for medical purposes in residential, commercial, rural and recreational zones” but to “permit the production of medical marijuana on parcels within the Agricultural Land Reserve,” said Fletcher.

“So in this respect the RDMW policy is already aligned with the Provincial directive,” said Fletcher.

The RDMW Board also provided for temporary use permits to be considered for medical marijuana production in areas zoned industrial, Fletcher said.