Province Weeds out Pot Prohibitions
On May 7th the Province settled any lingering doubts about the authority of local governments to prohibit the production of medical marihuana on land within the Agricultural Land Reserve. The Agricultural Land Reserve Use Subdivision and Procedure Regulation now designates "the production of marihuana in accordance with the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations" as a farm use which must not be prohibited by any local government bylaw, except a farm bylaw under s. 917 of the Local Government Act. The previous version of the Regulation did not designate marihuana production as a farm use, and in reference to farm uses said local government may regulate must not prohibit. The explicit permission to regulate has been removed, but in our view the newly-worded regulation still allows local governments to regulate in respect of designated farm uses; the only thing local government bylaws must not do in relation to the uses is prohibit.
To date we have been advising local governments that bylaws purporting to prohibit the production of medical marihuana would probably be open to challenge. There is now no question: local government bylaws prohibiting the production of marihuana in accordance with the MMPR are invalid.
Link to the new amendments http://www.younganderson.ca/Province-weeds-out-pot-prohibitions-new-amendments.pdf
Link to ALC Regulation http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/171_2002
Link to the ALC Act http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/02036_01