New cannabis regulations welcomed by Langley Township mayor

The rules will allow local governments to ban some types of pot cultivation.

Local governments will have more control over marijuana production under new rules announced Friday morning by the provincial government.

“This is a big change,” said Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese shortly after seeing the announcement from Victoria.

The change, which takes effect immediately, allows local and First Nations governments to ban “industrial-style” cannabis production in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

It appears to give communities like Langley Township the authority to ban concrete-floored greenhouses or enclosed bunker-style buildings for pot production.

“It looks promising, but I don’t think it’s going to do much to resolve the issues we already have,” said Councillor Kim Richter, who is running for mayor this fall.

Richter and Coun. Bob Long both noted that Langley Township might not be as free to operate as some other communities. The Township is a “regulated” community when it comes to farming, and B.C. Ministry of Agriculture approval is sometimes required for local regulations.

Langley Township recently asked the premier and minister of agriculture for a moratorium on cannabis production on agricultural land, until Victoria consulted with farmers, municipal governments, industry, and the public.

That came in the wake of complaints from neighbours of one of the country’s largest legal marijuana farms.

A Canopy Growth facility in South Aldergrove hosts more than 200,000 cannabis plants in an existing greenhouse close to the U.S. border.

Neighbours had complained about the smell, lights, and sometimes noise from the vast facility.

The new rules would allow local governments to ban similar projects – but they will not allow retroactive bans. Existing licensed operations can continue to operate.

The ban also applies only to cannabis grown in a structure.

Local governments can’t ban marijuana if grown in an open field or “in a structure that has a soil base,” according to the provincial announcement.

Froese said the Township will likely seek a legal opinion on the new rules and then explore its options.

“On the face of it, it seems we have a little more authority than yesterday,” he said.

He noted it may still not go far enough for some people, and that “production has to happen someplace” as recreational marijuana becomes legal on Oct. 17 this year.

But it will allow local governments to address some of the impacts on land, the environment, and neighbours, he said.

In the past, the Township has attempted to regulate medical marijuana cultivation in the ALR, but the Agricultural Land Commission and the Ministry of Agriculture pushed back, ruling that medical marijuana was a permitted use in the ALR. About 70 per cent of Langley Township is in the ALR.

Just Posted

WATCH: Langley art beneath the vines helps hospice

West Coast Fine Arts late summer show enjoyed natural light in a winery’s greenhouse.

Langley health fair aimed at newcomers to the community

An LCSS event combined fun for kids with information on health services.

Election signs trashed on Langley’s 208th Street

Someone apparently knocked down a block of signs in Willoughby.

VIDEO: Cedar Rim Nursery celebrates 40th anniversary

The celebration created a buzz at the nursery with local vendors, tours and a kids zone

Car crash, wires down cause power failures in Langley

Hundreds of people spent some time in the dark Friday and Saturday.

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Remainder of Vancouver Whitecaps season filled with ‘must-win’ games: coach

With Vancouver currently sitting four points out of a post-season spot, each contest is crucial

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Most Read