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Vernon restricts medical marijuana to agricultural land
Marijuana production is being restricted to ensure Vernon’s tax base isn’t undermined.
Council voted Monday to only allow medical marijuana to be grown in agricultural zones because B.C. Assessment would have only applied the cheaper farm assessment if the activity took place on industrial land.
“That takes away any potential (to use industrial land) and helps to lower our revenue sources,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.
The potential to only get taxes based on the farm rate for industrial land also concerned Mayor Rob Sawatzky.
“I’d not like to see us use scarce industrial land for these uses when we can only recoup the lower rate,” he said.
Opposition came from Coun. Bob Spiers, who insists marijuana production should not just be limited to the agricultural zone.
“It’s a valid use on industrial land and it can be better controlled with policing. It’s an economic development issue,” he said, adding that the city’s policy could create challenges for four or five applicants.