Medical marijuana

Health Canada's Marihuana Medical Access Program ended March 31, 2014. Patients holding current licenses to grow medical marihuana at home are exempt from the new regulations, as a result of an interim injunction issued March 21 by the Federal Court of Canada. For more information, see Health Canada's Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.

As of April 1, 2014, the only legal access to marijuana for medical purposes, along with the exemptions due to the March 21 court ruling, will be through licensed producers under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.

City bylaws & zoning

Like every other municipality in Canada, we are updating or creating bylaws to accommodate this new Health Canada program. Producers licensed by Health Canada are required to meet all federal, provincial and, unlike the previous program, municipal bylaws.

A new business licence bylaw will help ensure that Medical Marihuana Production Facilities are operated with as little neighbourhood impact as possible. The business licence regulations are intended to protect public safety and welfare through reasonable limitations on medical marijuana cultivation and production in relation to noise, air and water quality, community safety and security and other health and safety concerns. Nothing in the Bylaw is intended to promote or condone the production, distribution or possession of medical marijuana in violation of any applicable law.

New Medical Marihuana Production Facilities are now permitted on most industrial zoned land and business-industrial zoned land. For agricultural land, amendments to the zoning bylaw are being proposed which, if the proposed amendments are approved by Council and the Minister of Agriculture, would allow for Medical Marihuana Production Facilities on agricultural land on a case-by-case basis.

Process

Interested parties must first apply to Health Canada to become a licensed producer under the MMPR regulations, a copy of this licence must be supplied to us along with their Health Canada identification number, list of employees and evidence that all employees have passed an annual RCMP criminal records check.

The Building & Permitting Branch will process building permit applications for any construction or renovations required to facilitate a licensed facility, upon City Council approval of the following current bylaws or text amendments: