WHEREAS Health Canada has the responsibility and power to approve medical marijuana production facilities through its licencing branch; and
WHEREAS Health Canada has the responsibility for the inspection process that governs the operations, placement and reporting requirements for medical marijuana production facilities; and
WHEREAS there are concerns that Health Canada’s inspection services and follow up for these facilities may be inadequate; and
WHEREAS there may be significant gaps in the administration, management and policing of these facilities that could lead to an increase in criminal activity surrounding these facilities, an increase in improper use and improper sale of products from these facilities and a growing public concern regarding the placement, regulation and inspection of these facilities;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, lobby the Government of Canada to enact legislation allowing municipalities to control placement of medical marijuana production facilities through zoning bylaws, business licences and development permits complete with conditions to be enforced at the municipal level.
The original process to site and licence medical marijuana production facilities, used by Health Canada, has created issues for law enforcement agencies and municipalities who have found a large number of “legal” marijuana grow-ops in residential neighbourhoods. The lack of inspection may have led to an increase in criminals using the licencing program to sell marijuana illegally. There is the matter of security when otherwise legal operations may be targeted by criminals who steal marijuana to sell on the streets. Police have found themselves in the middle of a marijuana bust only to find that the owner of the product has a licence from Health Canada but the regulations governing the operation may not be enforced by Health Canada inspectors.
The changes to the current practices used by Health Canada to licence, inspect and regulate these operations are intended to enhance the process but so far the municipality’s influence and control is limited to signing a form that says it has been notified by the applicant that they are seeking a licence to grow medical marijuana.
The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.