Red Deer County moves to simplify regulations to start medical marijuana grow-ops

Redefined bylaws could reduce some of the burdens to opening up a medical marijuana grow operation in Red Deer County.

Council gave first reading to amending the land use bylaw that would make it easier for the county to approve development permits for medical marijuana production facilities on Tuesday.

A public hearing on the proposed changes is slated for Sept. 19.

Grow operations would be permitted in business service industrial and medium industrial districts under the proposed bylaw amendments.

The changes would also eliminate some of the permit requirements from the county including developing a security plan, a ventilation plan, and Health Canada approval. These are already required by the federal government before granting a production licence.

Operators would have to ensure there are loading facilities, garbage and waste containers fully enclosed within the building; a fence, a drainage plan and confirmation a federal licence application.

The federal licence and the development permit are dependent upon each other for approval of a medical marijuana production facility.

Coun. Philip Massier raised a concern about an active application for this type of grow operation near Pine Lake. The development application is still active, but was withdrawn from the municipal planning commission’s agenda on Aug. 1

Should the applicant want to put tis application forward again, it would be subject to the new regulations if they were approved.

Most councillors said they were particularly interested in the outcome of the public hearing.

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