Surrey Continues Push to Have Medical Pot Growers Get Permits

Surrey wants Health Canada to change its medical marijuana law to compel growers to obtain city bylaw licenses.

Council endorsed a resolution Monday night to put forward a resolution at this year’s UBCM conference to get the federal government to tighten medical marijuana regulations at the municipal level.

Surrey recently passed a bylaw to require growers to register at city hall and obtain permits, not only to ensure community safety, but to make it easier for RCMP to distinguish legal from illegal marijuana grow operations.

The city wants to ensure that growers get local permits that ensure safety regulations are met before getting federal approval to begin operations.

“Health Canada licensed medical grow operations are often creating health and public safety concerns and are also causing odour and other nuisance concerns in the communities within which they are located,” the city’s motion states.

“Under the current regulations, Health Canada has no procedure in place to disclose the location of any . . . license holders or the related grow operation. As such, local governments have no knowledge of the location of such marijuana growing operations to ensure that appropriate permits are issued and inspections conducted so that the buildings/sites containing medical marijuana grow operations meet all necessary building, fire and electrical safety regulations and that they do not create a nuisance or hazard to others,” the motion stressed.

It’s an issue relevant for communities across B.C.

Currently, B.C. doctors have signed more than 3,620 authorizations for patients to legally possess medical marijuana and 30 per cent of these allow the users to produce marijuana for other legally-approved users — the highest authorization level in Canada.

Health Canada is in the process of reviewing its regulations surrounding medical marijuana with an eye to increasing the number of grow licences and moving to more commercial grow operations rather than personal user-based grow permits.

– Article originally from The Province.