The current marijuana bunker is operated by Evergreen Medicinal near Michell Farms. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

ALR protection petition reaches B.C. Legislature

Group opposing marijuana greenhouses collects 1,400 signatures

The Citizens for Protecting Agricultural Land (CPAL) have collected over 1,400 signatures to support their cause, and it will be presented in the House on Thursday by MLA Adam Olsen.

The petition was concerned with paving over ALR land for any purpose, but was prompted by a proposal to place greenhouses on the former Stanhope Dairy Farm by Evergreen Medicinal on Vancouver Island.

The group have stated they are not against the production of marijuana per se, but they would prefer to see it on industrial land since marijuana is typically grown indoors.

Olsen has raised the issue of marijuana grow-ops on ALR land with Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham, said Olsen’s chief of staff Aldous Sperl.

“It’s highlighting that there is a substantial number of people in his riding that care about the issue,” said Sperl.

Olsen has also committed to trying to get the minister to meet with the group, said Sperl.

CPAL communications co-ordinator Ken Marriette said the group met with Olsen, and he committed to deliver their petition in the House before the end of this sitting. Olsen invited up to 10 members of CPAL to watch from the gallery. Marriette said Central Saanich mayor Ryan Windsor has also committed to helping the group. The District of Central Saanich has sent a letter to Minister Popham requesting a six-month moratorium on growing marijuana on ALR land, which passed unanimously at the council level.

Marriette said the group was told a petition would “fall on deaf ears,” because if the government truly wanted to regulate this, they would have done so already. The group, however, was undeterred. They heard there was a public consultation on ALR land launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Minister Popham, and they tried to get to a public meeting in Nanaimo, but it was full.

Marriette said he was told by Popham’s office that meaningful changes would not take place until the fall of this year or the spring of 2019. With that in mind, the group began campaigning for a moratorium. “Stop this now, because that will give us some breathing room, because the more you leave this door open, the more horses leave the barn, the harder it’ll be to fix it.”

The group started collecting signatures province-wide, but soon narrowed their focus to Vancouver Island.

“I have a niece in Chilliwack who lives in a farming community who sent over 84 of them,” said Marriette. “It’s delightful.”

Marriette said since the house is only in session for a few more days, a meeting was not likely, but the Minister’s office told him to “keep asking, and we’ll try to fit you in when the appropriate time is here.”

“We would consider it a minor, positive step forward if [Popham] called for a moratorium and did some hard thinking about where these [greenhouses] belong,” said Marriette.

Just Posted

Video: Snow Pitch Tournament a home run

Teams competed for softball supremacy on the snow-covered Finlayson Park ball diamonds

Update: Proposed medical building in Sicamous to be called Shuswap Healing Centre

The District of Sicamous is applying for $6 million in grant funding to go towards the project

Vehicle leaves road at Balmoral intersection near Blind Bay

A tow truck arrived to remove the vehicle at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Okanagan Military Tattoo returns

Performances July 28 and July 28

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Fairly clear skies are forecasted over the Shuswap as a rare celestial event plays out above

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

The Okanagan Death Café returns for another season

The event allows participants to explore the topic of death, discuss wills and listen to each other

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

UBC Okanagan hosts gala evening of fun, art and entertainment

The annual event is celebrating its 17th anniversary

Most Read