SLRD passes micro-cannabis production policy 

New minimum set for operating size

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO
  • file photo

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District updated just how small micro-cannabis production in rural areas can be.

SLRD chair and Electoral Area D representative Tony Rainbow said the board passed the legislation on Feb. 27 to be more in line with federal legislation, and to allow for growing cannabis on a micro scale as well as on larger production.

"There's so much uncertainty at all levels. We're just trying to create some order. I think it will be a while before everyone is satisfied. We may never get to the point where everyone is satisfied. Obviously, we have to consider the people who don't grow cannabis living close to the operations of people who are growing it," Rainbow said.

Before the policy passed, a cannabis production facility in the SLRD had to be on a parcel of land at least 10 hectares in size. As of Feb. 27, micro-cannabis production can operate on a minimum of five hectares in rural SLRD zones.

The SLRD dictates micro-cultivation plant surface area is a maximum of 200 square metres. Micro-processing is capped at a maximum of 600 kg of dried cannabis in one calendar year. Operations must be licenced by Health Canada, and need to have proper water and servicing.

There are also security measures for both micro- and macro-processing of cannabis, including a physical barrier around the site's perimeter to prevent unauthorized access.

This applies only to rural areas, since the SLRD does not have jurisdiction within the region's municipalities.

"Our feeling at the moment is the five hectares is a reasonable size. It allows more protection of other people around, in terms of the smells, the waste, the wastewater and so on," Rainbow said. "We are aware there are some micro facilities operating right now on smaller parcels of land. Some of those were permitted by the federal government under the medical cannabis prior to the legalization of cannabis. They were permitted without reference to the regional district. We'll have to work through with those people and see what we can come to."

The original version of this story can be viewed here.

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