Medical Marihuana Production Facilities - FAQ
Medical Marihuana Production Facilities Frequently Asked Questions
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR APPROVING MEDICAL MARIHUANA PRODUCTION FACILITIES?Health Canada is the approval authority for Medical Marihuana Production Facilities (MMPF's) under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). The MMPR is a Federal program administered by Health Canada to move production of medical marihuana out of residential dwellings and into secure, commercial scale production facilities licenced under the MMPR. A copy of the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations can be found here.
WHAT ROLE DOES THE RDN PLAY IN RELATION TO MMPF'S?The RDN is not the approval authority for medical marihuana production facilities licenced under the MMPR. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Agricultural Land Commission permit the production of medical marihuana as a 'farm use' on land within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). As RDN land use bylaws must be consistent with Province's ALR regulations, the RDN cannot prohibit the production of medical marihuana on ALR land. In February of 2014, the RDN adopted land use regulations which limit the production of medical marihuana to land located within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) within Electoral Areas A, C, E, G and H. In Electoral Area F, production of medical marihuana is also limited to lands within the ALR in addition to properties zoned Industrial 2 (I-2). These regulations require 30-metre setbacks from parcel boundaries for medical marihuana production facilities on ALR land, and clarify that medical marihuana production is not a permitted as a home based business. A report to the RDN Board with background information pertaining to these land use regulations can be found here. Copies of RDN Zoning bylaws can be found here.
IS THERE A PUBLIC PROCESS FOR THE SITING OF MMPF'S?There is no requirement from Health Canada for parties pursuing a production licence to notify area residents of their intent to establish a licenced medical marihuana production facility on a given property. Notwithstanding this, those actively pursuing a licence to produce medical marihuana under the MMPR must notify local government, fire and law enforcement authorities of their intent to obtain a production licence. Receipt of a notice of intent by local authorities in relation to a proposed MMPF is not confirmation that an application has been submitted to Health Canada.
If a licence is granted by Health Canada for the production of medical marihuana, the issuance of RDN building permits will be required in relation to new structures or for the renovation of existing structures. The issuance of building permits cannot legally require public process and building permit issuance cannot legally require information to address any potential aquifer impacts. Discharge of waste from farm operations is regulated by the Province through the Agricultural Waste Control Regulation under the Environmental Management Act. Residents can direct questions and comments to Health Canada through the contact information provided below.
WHO CAN I CONTACT WITH QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS SURROUNDING A PROPOSED MEDICAL MARIHUANA PRODUCTION FACILITY UNDER THE MMPR?
- Questions or concerns regarding proposed or existing production facilities under the MMPR can be addressed to Health Canada as follows:
Licences and Permits Division
Office of Controlled Substances
- Questions or concerns related to standard farm practices for MMPF's can be addressed to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Agricultural Land Commission:
Provincial Agricultural Land Commission
Ministry of Agriculture
General Enquiries Line
- Questions or concerns related to access to existing or proposed MMPF's can be addressed to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure:
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Vancouver Island District Office
- Questions or concerns regarding regulation of waste discharge from MMPF's can be addressed to the Ministry of Environment:
Ministry of Environment
Vancouver Island Regional Office