Marijuana production facility not a grow op

We encourage anyone concerned about the potential impacts of medical marijuana production to read the federal regulations…

Thank for your front page coverage of the March 26, 2014 public hearing for the district’s planned zoning bylaw amendment. As reported in your coverage, we are in favour of permitting the responsible use of industrial-zoned land for federally-licensed production of medical marijuana. Unfortunately, the proposed bylaw would severely restrict the ability to locate these safe and tightly regulated facilities on industrial land. We are hopeful that our mayor and council will recognize the advantages of locating these facilities on industrial land (as opposed to valuable farmland), and make appropriate changes to the proposed bylaw.

We thank you also for changing the headline for your story as it appears on Eaglevalleynews.com. Though it may seem appropriate to refer to any operation that produces marijuana as a “grow op,” the fact is that the federally-licensed facilities we favour bear no resemblance to the illegal grow ops of the past. Unlike grow ops, licensed medical marijuana production facilities must pass fire and building inspections, and are subject to strict security and environmental regulations. Describing these facilities with the pejorative term “grow op” risks unfairly tarring legitimate businesses in this promising new industry.

We encourage anyone concerned about the potential impacts of medical marijuana production to read the federal regulations and guidance documents prepared by Health Canada. We are confident that reasonable people aware of the relevant facts will agree that medical marijuana production is a safe and innocuous way to grow and diversify our local economy.

Johnny Vinje

President,Waterway Houseboats Ltd.