Pubdate: Wed, 19 Mar 2014
Source: Sooke News Mirror (CN BC)
Copyright: 2014 Sooke News Mirror


While many may think that a medical marijuana grow op will bring lots 
of revenue to a municipality or a regional district, that may not be the case.

It appears a Medical Marijuana Production(MMP) facility can become a 
farm and the resulting property taxes would be far less than if the 
property was classed as an industrial zone. Business taxes are 
generally three times that of residential and can build up the 
coffers in a significant way compared to a property with farm status. 
An example would be the proposed MMP facility in Otter Point. If it 
was industrial the taxes would be roughly $7,600 and if it had farm 
status the taxes would be $176. That is a significant difference. 
This could destroy a community's tax base plain and simple.

So what is the solution? A grandfather clause? A covenant? A case by 
case exemption? That is something that will have to be sorted out to 
ensure a municipality or a regional district isn't short-changed by 
changes to zoning. While the idea of MMP facilities is a good one, 
all of the pros and cons haven't yet been figured out. Rushing to 
allow MMP facilities may be rather short-sighted and the whole 
picture needs to be looked at.

Those folks growing a bit of bud in the backyard or basement, whether 
legal or illegal, will no longer have it sanctioned and the big 
industrial aspect of MMP facilities will take over. Big brother takes 
over and the problem with this is that a black market will continue 
to exist and people will take the risk and grow illegal marijuana.

What changes? The community gets less tax money, the mom and pop 
growers go underground and big business takes over.

This may lead to re-consideration of support for large MMP facilities 
because the little guys get shafted once again.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom