Maple Ridge tells Ottawa it wants a say locating medical marijuana ops

Mayor Nicole Read writes to Conservative Health Minister Rona Ambrose


Cities and the people who live within them, should be able to have a say in where medical marijuana operations set up within their boundaries, says the mayor of Maple Ridge.

“It should be a formal requirement that Health Canada make the location of these potential sites known to the public and hold a public meeting and consider the comments of our citizens in determining if such a facility should be considered for licensing in our city,” Nicole Read said in a release Friday.

The mayor wrote to federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose pointing out there’s no formal public process relating to locations of medical marijuana facilities in Maple Ridge.

Maple Ridge is currently dealing with community opposition to a medical marijuana plant being built in Whonnock on 272nd Street over protests of the neighbours.

“The situation in Whonnock highlights the issues around the failures in the current Health Canada process.

“Our citizens expect to have a robust public process around the location of these facilities, yet there is none,” Read said.

“To be very clear, we understand that there is a market for the medical use of marihuana, and the goal is to establish a national network of licensed growers.”

But Read said the city is concerned about the process that involves.

“We will continue to vigorously press the federal government to establish a public process relating to the location of medical marijuana production facilities.”

She said in her letter that Maple Ridge is getting more than its share of medical marijuana applications.

In March, the City of Maple Ridge sought the opinion of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner  in Victoria to see if it can tell the public more about plans for a dozen possible medical pot productions in the city.

Anyone who applies to Health Canada for a medical marijuana grow operation must inform the city, fire and police of their plans.

However, privacy laws prevent the city from disclosing any of that information, such as location, to the public.

Medical marijuana facilities are permitted uses within the Agricultural Land Reserve and can’t be prohibited by cities.

Final arguments are wrapped up Friday in a court challenge of the federal government’s move to ban home growing of medical marijuana by doctor-approved users.

A win by pro-pot advocates would blow a big hole in the new federal system imposed last spring that outlawed previously legal home grows and tried to force all patients to buy only from new commercial producers. Those companies will have the exclusive right to grow and sell if Ottawa prevails.

Abbotsford lawyer John Conroy told Judge Michael Phelan the new system means higher medical marijuana costs for thousands of users who until now have been able to grow their own and who have a court-enshrined right in Canada to reasonable access to their medicine.

In December 2012, Federal Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq announced the new program called Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulation at a media conference held at Maple Ridge’s Fire Hall No. 1.

The regulation encouraged large-scale commercial medical marijuana facilities while phasing out personal medical grow permits.


Just Posted

Could whistle have saved Maple Ridge train victim?

Maple Ridge silenced trains, woman hit and killed Wednesday

Free shoes popular at pop-up shop in Maple Ridge

One day event by Shoe Bank Canada to help those in need

Letter: ‘12 structure fires in Pitt Meadows this year so far’

Department has had 49 fire-related incidents total.

There is a mail-in vote to change our electoral system?

Only 2.5 per cent in Maple Ridge have bothered

New schedule, new code for Maple Ridge council

Daytime meetings back at city hall

UPDATE: Young woman killed by train in Maple Ridge

Emergency responders on tracks along River Road

Giants serve up major defeat to Pats at Langley Events Centre

On the ice, Vancouver G-Men wrap up home stand with a 10-4 win over Regina Friday night.

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read