A staff report detailing Saanich’s approach towards the production, sale and distribution of recreational marijuana will be before Saanich council next month. Black Press File.

A staff report detailing Saanich’s approach towards the production, sale and distribution of recreational marijuana will be before Saanich council next month. Black Press File.

Saanich continues to weed out uncertainty around recreational pot

Council ratifies bylaw prohibiting pot bunkers in Agricultural Land Reserve

A long-awaited report describing Saanich’s response to the legalization of recreational marijuana will appear before council next month.

Megan Catalano, a spokesperson for the District of Saanich, said the municipality has no other details to share at this point, as staff are currently working on the report.

RELATED: Saanich approach towards recreational marijuana business unclear as Victoria moves forward

Saanich last year issued a “full” prohibition of the sale, production and distribution of recreational cannabis until staff have had an opportunity to review federal and provincial legislation. But Saanich has also signalled that this prohibition will be temporary.

“We [Saanich] are 30 per cent of the [regional] population, so we are 30 per cent of the market,” said Mayor Fred Haynes late last year. “This is a huge economic opportunity.”

RELATED: Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes sees plenty of opportunity in cannabis industry

It is up to Saanich to develop a framework from which it can profit, he said. “Why would we miss out on an economic opportunity, where businesses can open up in Saanich to sell their products to our residents, but more importantly, the production and manufacture of high quality recreational and medical product that is legal?”

The announcement of the forth-coming report comes after Saanich council read for the final time a bylaw prohibiting the growing of recreational marijuana bunker-like facilities in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).

RELATED: Saanich to smoke out pot bunkers in Agricultural Land Reserve

Under the bylaw, the production of recreational marijuana only qualifies as a legal farm activity if it happens in open fields, in buildings with bases consisting of soil; and in existing and future crop-growing building under construction before July 13 — the deadline identified in a Aug. 15 bulletin from the Agricultural Land Commission concerning the cultivation of marijuana in the ALR.

RELATED: Saanich wants bunkers to be off limits for cannabis growing

Cannabis growing operations that do not meet those conditions represent non-farm uses that require approval from the Agricultural Land Commission under provincial regulations that allow municipal governments to control but not restrict the conditions of cannabis production.

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com