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Old Posted Feb 7, 2014, 12:27 AM
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rocketphish rocketphish is offline
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Medical marijuana facilities zoning review

Zoning proposal to allow medical marijuana facilities

Ottawa city planners suggest licenced medical marijuana facilities in industrial zones

By Kate Porter, CBC News Posted: Feb 05, 2014 8:19 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 06, 2014 7:17 AM ET

Ottawa's planning committee will consider a new zoning proposal that would allow federally-licensed medicinal marijuana facilities to set up in the city's industrial areas.

City planners drafted the proposal after Health Canada changed the system through which patients obtain medicinal marijuana.

Patients will no longer be able to get licences to grow plants in homes as of Apr. 1, 2014. Instead, licenced commercial growers will produce and ship medicinal marijuana directly to patients.

Given the prospect companies could set up in the Ottawa area, planners determined the facilities are more like pharmaceutical manufacturing plants than a greenhouses, and should be allowed in industrial rather than agricultural zones.

Since residents expressed fears that fumes or odours could emanate from the growing of marijuana, planners suggested no facility be located within 150-metres of a residential or institutional area, even though they said federal regulations should ensure no odour escapes.

No new industrial zones: planners

The 150-metre buffer means some small industrial areas in the centre of the city will be off limits entirely.

Maps of the areas where medical marijuana facilities would be allowed show many small zones dotting Ottawa's rural countryside, as well as established industrial areas, such as where technology firms are located in Kanata North and an industrial park at Colonnade Road.

"We are not rezoning additional industrial lands to accommodate this use," said city planner Carol Ruddy. "There are already general manufacturing and light industrial uses and heavy industrial uses permitted in these locations and this is just another use that will also be permitted."

24-hour security for marijuana producers: business owner

One business owner in an industrial park along Sheffield Road supported the proposal that marijuana production be added to the area's zoning.

"You don't want your neighbour next door growing marijuana," said Rob Vanderkuip, owner of a laminating and braille signage company called Terra Reproductions. "But if it was in a separate building in this industrial area, that would not bother me."

Vanderkuip said he hoped any medicinal marijuana facility would have 24-hour security in case the business attracted the wrong people. On the whole, he preferred Health Canada's new system of commercial growers to the previous one of allowing plants to be grown in residential areas.

"At least you know where they're growing it. They're not growing it in one of my houses in Barrhaven, so you have that control factor," Vanderkuip said.

Planning committee is expected to consider the report to amend the zoning on Tuesday.

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Old Posted Feb 7, 2014, 12:32 AM
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rocketphish rocketphish is offline
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And here's the City of Ottawa website on the subject:

Interestingly, nobody at the City knows how to properly spell marijuana, which led me to this article:

Why does the Government of Canada still insist on calling it ‘Marihuana’?

Marc Weisblott
Published: October 23, 2013, 1:00 pm

As the debate about the place of cannabis in polite Canadian society has accelerated, along with steps to further legitimize its distribution for medicinal purposes, one specific quirk has seemed to draw an increasing amount of attention: How the government spells a certain nine-letter synonym.

“Marihuana” has remained the standard in most federal communications, in order to remain consistent, even though the choice of more phonetic Mexican Spanish spelling preceded common recreational use and its regular appearance in the news media as “marijuana.”

The clash between the legal “h” and casual “j” has also persisted in several states south of the border. But a definitive answer about why has remained elusive — even to the High Times magazine editorial board.

Nonetheless, the standard spelling dictated by The Canadian Press does not cut “marihuana” any slack as “marijuana” has long been established in the English language.

As a result, journalists, politicians and others inclined to follow police departments on Twitter cannot avoid remarking upon how unusual it looks, whatever the context.

Most recently, the spelling was featured in the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations that were introduced in late September.

An inquiry about the aversion to the “j” generated this official response from Health Canada:

“Marihuana with an ‘h’ is one of a number of recognized spellings in the Oxford English Dictionary. While the spelling with a ‘j’ has been retained in US statute, the ‘h’ has been retained in European statutes, including in the U.K. and France. This is the spelling retained in Canadian statute.”

But with new businesses seeking to take advantage of the legal status of marijuana has come an apparent difference of opinion about how it should be spelled in order to be taken seriously.

National Access Canada, based in Vancouver, has introduced what it pointedly calls a Medical Marihuana Card — which is geared to ensuring that patients can efficiently access dispensaries that have implemented traditional pharmaceutical software.

The service was developed by Alex Abellan, who determined that the “h” was essential to distinguish his effort from anything recreational.

But a pharmaceutical company seeking to draw a similar distinction, MediJean, has opted for the familiar spelling of marijuana as it launches a campaign to distinguish its medicinal offerings from what it calls “street pot” — which includes an effort to spread the message that unlicensed cannabis that is potentially sprayed with window cleaner is probably not good for your health.

Anton Mattadeen, the chief strategy officer of MediJean, explains that the company did considerable research into its marketing effort — which includes the launch of a website designed to spark a national online debate — although a spelling that would seem strange to most Canadians was avoided.

Nonetheless, he points out that any correspondence between the company and the government continues to involve spelling the stuff “marihuana” — even as most of the nation wonders why.

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Old Posted Feb 7, 2014, 12:41 AM
Proof Sheet Proof Sheet is offline
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Originally Posted by rocketphish View Post
And here's the City of Ottawa website on the subject:

Interestingly, nobody at the City knows how to properly spell marijuana, which led me to this article:
I was actually surprised that the staff planner on the file was allowed to be interviewed on cbc radio about this.....typically, the City make interviews like that go through multiple channels etc and then a non-descript spokesperson delivers a bland response to the media. It was a refreshing change..the planner in question was quite engaging.
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2014, 2:00 AM
S-Man S-Man is offline
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Because the planner had been toking a spliff!

It's reefer madness!!!
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Old Posted Jun 3, 2014, 5:51 PM
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Company challenges city's buffer rules on medical marijuana facilities

Carys Mills, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: June 2, 2014, Last Updated: June 3, 2014 12:27 PM EDT

A fight is brewing over how close future legal marijuana grow operations can be to homes and buildings such as schools and recreation centres in Ottawa.

A local company is challenging 150-metre buffer zones mandated by the city of Ottawa and it’s taking the issue to the Ontario Municipal Board, which has the power to overturn city council’s decision.

Those in favour of the buffer zone have cited concerns about noise and odours escaping from medical marijuana facilities. But a lawyer representing Stittsville-based Cannabis Canada Medical Inc. said the rule is “excessive and does not reflect the real risks” of the production plants.

At the moment the argument is largely theoretical, since no companies in Ottawa are known to have received a production licence from Health Canada. But the challenge to the zoning bylaw amendment, which is scheduled to be heard by the OMB on Aug. 28, argues the city’s rules could hurt a growing industry that is steadily seeing more licenses.

Many municipalities, including Ottawa, amended bylaws earlier this year to control where the legalized facilities can go. The rules were put in place before the federal government’s change to Canada’s medical marijuana regime, which as of April 1 restricts production to heavily regulated private producers.

Any Ottawa licensed facilities would have to be in an industrial area with a 150-metre buffer from residential or institutional zones, where facilities like schools and community centres are.

Ottawa’s setback, which is more than double Toronto’s 70-metre separation, is the focus of the appeal that was filed in March on behalf of Cannabis Canada Medical Inc.’s president Peter Crowe.

Crowe did not respond to several requests for comment. His lawyer, Joshua Moon, said this week that his client had not given him instructions to speak to a reporter.

The appeal argues reasons for the buffer zone, including noise and air quality concerns, “are not warranted given the nature of the use and strenuous regulations imposed by Health Canada,” such as preventing odours from escaping the building and the prohibition of loud noise. Comparable land uses – including indoor agricultural and medical labs – don’t require similar buffers, Moon wrote.

City planning lawyer Tim Marc said in an email that Ottawa is planning to proceed to an OMB hearing, not mediation or a pre-hearing conference, which was suggested as a possibility in the appeal.

“We note that other municipalities across Canada are setting similar or even larger setbacks,” Marc said.

Other areas in Ontario, including Port Colborne and Norfolk County, have chosen 150-metre buffers to other land uses. One example of a larger buffer zone is Rocky View County, just outside of Calgary, where production facilities have to go in commercially-zoned land that’s at least 400 metres away from homes or schools.

Marc pointed to the report that went to planning committee in February, which said a 150-metre setback helped address potential impacts of the new “industrial-type” land use and public concerns raised about adjacent homes.

Before a city planning committee, Crowe wrote to city staff, the mayor and council. He outlined his concerns, including the short notice about the new city rules and that grow ops should be treated as medical facilities, not industrial sites.

“Staff have used a sledgehammer to regulate and control an otherwise innocuous use regulated at the federal level in a strict way,” Crowe wrote.

The rules “could have an unfounded negative impact on our company in the years ahead as we grow and require different accommodations,” he said, adding there seemed to be no “scientific calculations” for the selected buffer zones.

Ottawa isn’t the only municipality facing challenges on marijuana rules. City of Toronto spokesman Bruce Hawkins confirmed rules there have been appealed to the OMB.

Toronto-based land-use lawyer Peter Gross, who has been monitoring Ontario’s municipal marijuana rules, said varying responses across the province raise two questions: Do medical marijuana facilities need a buffer zone? And if so, how much of one?

A report he wrote last month said some municipalities, including Windsor and and Smiths Falls, have no setbacks. Buffers elsewhere include 70 metres and 150 metres within industrial zones, although there’s also variation in the zones where grow ops are allowed.

“The municipalities are imposing setbacks in varying degrees that don’t seem to be subjected to any sort of scientific basis,” he said.


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Old Posted Sep 8, 2017, 11:38 AM
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Greely-area greenhouses could become Ottawa's first legal grow-op

Jon Willing, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: September 7, 2017 | Last Updated: September 7, 2017 5:45 PM EDT

Greenhouses on a property in rural south Ottawa could become the city’s first legal marijuana grow operation if council approves the location and the company receives a licence from Health Canada.

Artiva, which is the medical cannabis arm of LiveWell Foods, wants to establish its indoor grow-op at 5130-5208 Ramsayville Rd. outside Greely, near the Hawthorne Industrial Park.

The three-phase plan, outlined in a planning application filed at city hall, details how 549,000 square feet of greenhouse space would be converted from food production to marijuana production. A second production facility would also be added to the property.

“Because we’re setting a precedent, the city is making sure everything is in order, which is fine,” LiveWell co-CEO Seann Poli said Thursday in a phone interview from Calgary.

“At this point we’re not seeing any resistance.”

Artiva’s application to be a licensed medical marijuana producer is under review by Health Canada.

The federal government decides who can get a medical marijuana production licence. Health Canada had issued 58 licences as of Thursday. Of those, 32 licences were for producers in Ontario.

When it comes to the municipal government, a potential roadblock for Artiva could be the city’s relatively young regulations on where medical marijuana production facilities can be located.

Federal regulations on marijuana production forced council in February 2014 to decide where the facilities are allowed. Because the city believed a medical marijuana grow-op resembled a pharmaceutical producer, staff recommended, and council accepted, that the facilities only be located in industrial zones.

The city didn’t want facilities placed in agricultural zones, fearing that building an indoor grow-op would damage good soil meant for farming use. The bylaw also restricts the facilities from being located within 150 metres of residential and institutional zones.

Since the federal Liberals want to legalize pot by next July, the City of Ottawa might need to consider the municipality’s role in marijuana production. Council will also need to figure out if it needs to regulate where marijuana sales can happen once pot becomes legal. The city can use zoning bylaws to place restrictions on properties, but it largely depends on how the province decides where marijuana will be sold.

On the production aspect, Artiva’s application is a little different from what was contemplated in the city’s medical grow-op rules. The company wouldn’t be constructing new buildings on its agriculture-zoned property; it would use the existing greenhouses for marijuana production.

In a planning rationale document for the proposed production facility, Artiva’s consultant argues the proposal fits with both city and provincial policies on agricultural land use. A municipal drain that runs through the property won’t be adversely affected, the document says.

Poli said it’s simply a matter of changing the crops grown in the greenhouse, with the exception of additional federal security requirements for the property.

“It’s very, very demanding, which is a good thing because it’s medicine,” Poli said.

Approving the application could open the door to other property owners in Ottawa’s agriculture zones seeking marijuana grow-ops for existing building footprints.

Coun. George Darouze, who represents the area of the proposed Artiva grow-op, said he was surprised to learn about the land-use application. For years, he’s been fielding questions from people asking if there’s any land available in Osgoode ward to produce marijuana. He told them good luck finding an appropriate site that meets the zoning restrictions.

“I was shocked to see something materialize,” Darouze said.

Darouze said he’ll consult with city planners and his constituents to decide how to handle Artiva’s application.

Artiva zeroed in on the Ramsayville Road farm after Poli received information about the property from a minority shareholder who lives near the greenhouses. The family that currently owns the farm grows mini cucumbers, eggplants and zucchini. If Health Canada allows food crops on the balance of the property, Artiva is interested in continuing to grow the vegetables, Poli said.

The company is also keen on seeking any licences that would allow it to grow recreational marijuana in the future, Poli said.

Poli has aspirations for Artiva to be one of the largest marijuana producers in the country and have the prime minister visit the operations.

“I envision Trudeau doing a ribbon-cutting early next year,” Poli said.


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Old Posted Feb 1, 2018, 1:07 PM
eltodesukane eltodesukane is offline
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"In Canada, which is moving toward legalization of recreational marijuana this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned that for now, the police and prosecutors will continue to treat pot sales as a crime.

“We recognize that anyone who is currently purchasing marijuana is participating in illegal activity that is funding criminal organizations and street gangs, and therefore we do not want to encourage, in any way, people to engage in that behavior until the law has changed,” Mr. Trudeau told reporters."

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