A cannabis research and development facility is being planned for Kelowna. File photo

Saanich wants bunkers to be off limits for cannabis growing

Saanich looks to block cement bunkers on ALR farmland

You can grow your weed in Saanich, just don’t grow it in a cement bunker.

Saanich Couns. Dean Murdock and Susan Brice have asked staff to consider a bylaw proposal that would ban the construction of “cement bunker” style buildings on Agricultural Reserve Land within the District of Saanich. The bunkers of concern are those used to produce high yields of cannabis crops, which is set to become legal for production, sale and consumption come Oct. 17.

Saanich council voted unanimous ly in aiming to preserve the local ALR by asking staff to research a bylaw proposal which would limit construction on local ALR land. Brice also suggested the bylaw present the same as Central and North Saanich, as all three Saaniches have expressed interest in the idea, which was suggested in a July 13 report from the Ministry of Agriculture.

“We’re not saying you can’t grow your weed, or smoke it, we’re just saying we are concerned about the future of ALR land,” said Murdock, the outgoing three-term councillor who will not seek re-election in October.

The province’s new regulation “allows local governments and First Nations to prohibit the altering of existing structures to increase the size or material used as the base of the structure, and applies, or will apply, to licensed medical and non-medical cannabis facilities in the ALR” said the report.

“The fear is we’ll see a proliferation of concrete-style bunkers on farmland which will render the fields otherwise useless,” Murdock said. “We’re more concerned with activities as part of the production that is detrimental to farmland.”

Saanich will not have the power to restrict the production of cannabis on ALR land. Greenhouses are also still permitted, and many use a cement pad.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Faulty janitorial equipment likely caused Saanich school fire

Saturday morning fire damaged roof of Strawberry Vale Elementary

Greater Victoria records highest unemployment in history with 11 per cent

Past peak was 7.8 per cent more than a decade ago, according to South Island Prosperity Partnership

Human behaviour likely to deter birds from Esquimalt Lagoon, survey suggests

More Great Blue Herons spotted, fewer mallard ducks seen

Garth Homer Society in Saanich turns lemons into lemonade with online programs

Victoria disability organization sets up online programs and learning tools in wake of COVID-19

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre to host a trio of acts

Aaron Pritchett, Alex Cuba and Valdy will each play four shows

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read