The Jane News
Posted: Mar 05, 2015
Source: the Star
Mississauga to become First City in Canada to Licence and Regulate Production of Medical Marijuana
Mississauga is set to become the first city in Canada to licence and regulate the production of medical marijuana.
“The federal government legalized these operations, but we’re the ones eventually responsible for where they’re located and the enforcement of them,” said Councillor Jim Tovey, after a committee vote on a new bylaw that passed Wednesday. Final approval will is expected to come when from full council by the end of March.
A staff report dated Feb. 18, 2015, indicated that no other city in Canada has made such a move, following the federal government’s transition in 2013 and 2014 to licence the private production of legal medical marihuana.
“It’s really a public safety issue,” Tovey said.
The report states that a Mississauga bylaw will guarantee that private medical marijuana production in the city will conform to building, fire and safety codes. Once the bylaw is in place, inspectors will legally be able to enter facilities to make sure all regulations are being followed.
“And it allows us to determine where they are located. Obviously you don’t want these in residential areas or near schools. Through the bylaw we will be able to enforce zoning for medical marijuana production in manufacturing and industrial zones.”
Tovey said a raft of problems could arise if producers started work in the city without a proper regulatory regime in place.
“Just look at what happens with illegal grow-ops. You have everything from safety issues to what the product is actually being used for. This by-law will make sure federal regulations are being met.”
The report states that two facilities have already received zoning approval, subject to a number of conditions. They are not up and running yet as they do not have the required licences from Health Canada. Two other facilities that city official know of have been told to cease “non-permitted use” until they obtain the required zoning.
An original licence will cost $250, with a recommended annual renewal fee of $200.