A Winnipeg city committee will vote on plans to crack down on local, designated medical cannabis growers.
In March City Hall received a report looking at the production of medical cannabis in residential areas, which stated that the city could limit marijuana growth at home through zoning changes and housing codes.
The city councils then submitted a motion to inform the public service about the necessary changes to these statutes.
The civil service has now submitted a recommendation on property and development, cultural heritage and inner-city development to the city’s standing political committee. The recommendation proposes amendments to the statutes in order to prohibit cultivation in residential areas and properties with residential zone designation.
Committee chair Cindy Gilroy said the motion is aimed at designated medical cannabis growers rather than those who grow for personal medicinal use.
“These are growers who grow on behalf of someone else. They are not a commercial breeder, they are not a private user, ”explained Gilroy.
“We have heard from the public that there are strong smells in many residential areas and this is disturbing the area and the community and residential areas where designated cannabis growers are growing. This is in big houses that nobody really lives in, but they are used to grow cannabis legally. “
Gilroy noted that the cultivation of medicinal cannabis is regulated by Health Canada. However, she said the amount of cannabis plants designated breeders produce is having a negative impact on neighborhoods.
The committee is also considering creating a licensing system that regulates the cultivation of medicinal cannabis on behalf of other registered users and regulating various building systems within real estate within a residential zone designation.
“Now they are settled between us. We can come in and check out their facilities. If they don’t comply, the city can now take enforcement action, ”Gilroy said.
The committee is due to vote on the recommendation at a meeting on October 13th.
Alderman Ross Eadie (Mynarsky) said he raised the issue through his own community committee about three years ago. While pleased with the progress, he feels that the proposed changes do not go far enough. He believes that the number of plants that both designated and personal growers can grow should be more limited.
“The report itself is only intended for designated breeders, and I think that’s a good thing. That pushes them into lightweight manufacturing, and that’s it, so that’s progress, ”he said. “But there are people with these huge recipes and they make them in-house.”
Eadie said he also wanted more law enforcement to deal with the changes and avoid threats these local farms pose to the neighborhood.
– With files from Kayla Rosen