VANCOUVER — Local and Indigenous governments in British Columbia will be permitted to prevent marijuana production in their communities on land that is part of the Agricultural Land Reserve, but with conditions.
The Ministry of Agriculture said Friday the regulatory change is effective immediately and gives governments the right to prevent industrial-style, cement-based and cannabis-production bunkers in their communities.
However, the ministry said pot production can’t be prohibited if it’s grown lawfully in an open field, in a structure that is soil based, or in an existing licensed operation.
“It’s not everything we were wanting, I don’t think. It’s a start,” said Delta Mayor Lois Jackson, who has been outspoken against marijuana growing operations on the land reserve in her city.
The Agricultural Land Reserve, or ALR, is a provincial designation that covers about 46,000 square kilometres in B.C. where agriculture is recognized as the priority use. Farming is encouraged and non-agricultural uses are restricted.
The changes pertain only to land within the reserve, because local governments can already regulate or prohibit pot production on lands outside the reserve.