Interest in cannabis crops up down on the farm

No actions required by the M.D. at this point

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The M.D. of Lesser Slave River has been happy enough letting its urban neighbours deal with issues arising from the legalization of cannabis last year. But it was perhaps inevitable the matter would make its way into the rural domain.

“People have been phoning us,” M.D. rural services director Russ Jassman told council at its March 6 meeting. “We want to do a greenhouse, (for example). What are the bylaws?” And questions along those lines, with regarding to growing marijuana.

Accordingly, Jassman and Ann Holden of the M.D. had studied the M.D.’s bylaws and found they pretty much already make room for growing legal stuff.

“We looked,” Jassman said. “We have all sorts of places where it could be grown, processed and/or sold, within our current bylaw.”

That was good enough for reeve Murray Kerik.

“It’s legal,” he said. “It’s more assessment for us. I don’t see any reason why we would stop it.”

Kerik got no serious argument from any of his council colleagues.

When it comes to economic development, said councillor Rosche, “this is probably one of the best options available.”

One possible fly in the ointment was raised by councillor Robert Esau. At a recent conference it came out, he said, that cannabis disposal can be an issue.

“It can have a huge impact on your landfill,” he said.

Councillor Brad Pearson was generally in favour of the ‘hands-off’ approach. But he said, “I don’t want to live next to a grow-op. It could be an issue.”

“That’s why it’s discretionary (in the hamlet zones),” said Kerik.

“We’re covered,” observed councillor Jeff Commins, adding that all the licensing and monitoring and enforcing is up to the feds and the province, leaving the M.D. pretty clear of hassles.

Council accepted the report as information.

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