City Hall puts off public hearing on marijuana bylaw

City opts to wait and see what federal government does with regulations

MICHELE YOUNG and JASON HEWLETT Daily News Staff Reporters / Kamloops Daily News
January 4, 2013 01:00 AM

Kamloops City council won't be hearing input from the public on a proposed medical marijuana grow bylaw until spring.

City development and engineering services director Marvin Kwiatkowski said Friday the public hearing was slated for Jan. 15, but with the federal government taking steps last month to consult on medical marijuana regulations, it seemed best to wait.

"They've set some dates as to when they're going to bring in the new regulations. And they have a 75-day public consultation period. It ends at the end of February, so we thought they might bring something in in the spring," he said.

"We thought we might as well hold off so we don't have to tweak our bylaw twice."

The City wasn't aware of Ottawa's medical marijuana announcement when the draft bylaw was created on Dec. 16, he said. But now that it's in process, it makes sense to wait until the federal government has its proposals sorted out before putting in a related local bylaw, he added.

"We're looking at holding it in the spring," he said.

Local pot activist Carl Anderson isn't in favour of the City's proposed bylaw, calling it too restrictive and expensive to be worthwhile.

He said the federal government's proposed legislation will make medical marijuana more expensive and likely put production in the hands of no more than 50 manufacturers Canadawide.

"There's not going to be that many licences that they will have to worry about," said Anderson, adding the City might not even need a bylaw after all.

"The number of licences that will be issued, how many cities are there in Canada?" he asked. "The whole thing is really a non-issue."

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod said her government's legislation will take grow-ops out of residential neighbourhoods and, if it moves forward, create licenced medicinal marijuana producers.

"We're dealing with more legitimate concerns in terms of health and safety," she said.

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