Nanaimo council voted to forward five resolutions to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities; the resolutions, taken as a whole, are meant to make it easier to grow cannabis on ALR land. STOCK PHOTO

Can pot farming save Vancouver Island agriculture?

Nanaimo suggests easing ALR rules to help farmers augment their income with cannabis

A Nanaimo city councillor is suggesting cannabis as a cash crop that could help make farming on Vancouver Island more sustainable.

Nanaimo council, at its meeting Monday, voted 5-3 to forward five resolutions to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities; the resolutions, taken as a whole, are meant to make it easier to grow cannabis on ALR land.

Coun. Don Bonner brought forward the resolutions and said right now, the ability to produce cannabis on agricultural land is limited by government regulation.

“The intent of this is, believe it or not, to increase our food sustainability in that we would have an option for local farmers to augment their income by producing cannabis and then continuing to do the farming that they like, instead of having to work off their farms in secondary jobs,” Bonner said at a Jan. 28 committee of the whole meeting when he first gave notice about his resolutions.

The resolutions include requesting that the provincial government deem cannabis growing as a farm operation, expand the types of acceptable greenhouse structures and allow for retrofitting of existing greenhouses for cannabis production.

Coun. Ian Thorpe voted against forwarding the resolutions to AVICC, saying they wouldn’t apply to any great extent within the City of Nanaimo.

“We have very, very minimal agricultural land reserve areas within the city limits,” Thorpe said at this past Monday’s meeting. “And this is not a topic that council has ever debated or discussed amongst ourselves. So to put it forward as something that our council is supporting, I don’t think is the case without having that discussion.”

Coun. Sheryl Armstrong agreed with Thorpe, saying she didn’t have enough information to support the resolutions and suggested they would be better brought up at the Regional District of Nanaimo table.

Coun. Zeni Maartman noted that a lot of the language within the resolutions is around exploring options, so she supported advancing the resolutions to the AVICC to be discussed there.

The resolutions passed with Thorpe, Armstrong and Coun. Jim Turley opposed.

The AVICC convention will be held April 12-14 in Powell River.

Also at Monday’s council meeting, councillors signed a code of conduct and redirected $1 million for waterfront walkway work.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ucluelet cancels Harbour Lights Sail Past

“Of course it’s disappointing. It’s one of my favourite community events.”

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Ucluelet Aquarium wraps up season with release day event

Residents help release charismatic critters on Dec. 7.

Tofino shops set to sparkle during weekend’s Jingle Into Christmas celebration

“It’s like a family reunion. It’s nice to see the locals’ faces.”

Child care sector feels the squeeze in Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

There are five children for every licensed child care space in the ACRD

‘Kind of lacking:’ Injured Bronco wonders why Canada won’t fund spinal surgery

“I think if Canada can step in and advance this program”

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

In surprise move, defence won’t call witnesses for accused in Abbotsford school killing

‘Change of instructions’ results in defence closing case without calling evidence

Most Read