Council briefs: Medical marijuana public hearing postponed

  • Mar. 2, 2016 7:00 p.m.

A public hearing about medical marijuana in the ALR that had been scheduled for March 7 will instead be held Monday, March 14 at 5 p.m. in Courtenay council chambers.

Council has approved second reading of a bylaw that would allow medical marijuana production facilities on lands within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Health Canada regulations changed in 2014. Federal licences geared to larger scale production/distribution facilities have replaced the old system of personal use licences. Recent legislative changes allow land owners to farm plants in the ALR if sanctioned to produce marijuana for medical purposes.

•The Comox Valley RCMP is soliciting input from stakeholders and partners to determine issues of importance to the community. Last year, the following issues were identified as the most significant: road safety (intersections), organized crime, crime reduction (prolific offenders and drugs), vandalism (mischief) and traffic law enforcement.

Coun. Doug Hillian feels domestic violence and youth crime are worthy of consideration, though Mayor Larry Jangula questions how authorities can control domestic violence. Coun. Erik Eriksson refers to the latter as “hidden crimes” that need to be reported to police.

Jangula is concerned about accidents between motorists and cyclists who do not use lights and ignore the rules of the road.

“It’s a huge issue,” he said Monday at committee of the whole.

•The City expects the M’akola Group of Societies to soon provide an update on various elements of the Braidwood housing project proposed on the east side of town.

Last year, council selected M’akola and the Wachiay Friendship Centre to be joint project sponsors for a five-year term.

The complex at 810 Braidwood Rd. would not be a homeless shelter but a supportive housing project to address a wide range of tenants deemed in-need or at-risk. BC Housing has provided a $50,000 loan towards the project.

“All is looking well,” CAO David Allen said, noting additional government funds will help M’akola move forward in its project design.

To Allen’s understanding, a project of this type typically takes three to five years to go from inception to completion.

“It is a long haul, based on previous experience,” he said. “That said, it looks like there is some definite options for funding…This whole process may be speeded up by some funding that has recently been announced by the Province.”

Last month, government committed $355 million over the next five years to create more than 2,000 new affordable housing units in B.C.

“That’s money that wasn’t there before,” Allen said.


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