Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 2015
Source: Barrie Examiner (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015, Barrie Examiner
Author: Bob Bruton
Page: A1


Local controls will be turned no tighter on medical marijuana 
production facilities in Barrie.

Coun. Bonnie Ainsworth's efforts for further background checks on 
those involved were rejected by city council earlier this week.

"I'm not in favour of having this in our community, but understand 
that is not a choice (because of federal regulations)," she said. 
"Where there are drugs and money, criminal activity creeps in.

"This is to look after local control."

Ainsworth asked that staff review provisions within the proposed city 
licensing bylaw for a medical marijuana facility for collecting 
information about those who would be associated with the facility, to 
help Barrie city police in their crime prevention and law enforcement 
work. The Ward 1 councillor wanted a memo on the results of this 
review, before council considers the bylaw for approval June 22.

City staff contacted the police and were told the names, birth dates 
and gender of these people would be valuable information for crime 
prevention and law enforcement. But police are concerned that doing 
this is contrary to privacy laws.

Criminal record checks will be done by the federal Ministry of Health 
while processing applications for a producer's licence.

Ainsworth has said she lacks faith in the federal Ministry of Health.

"The more local we can get control, the better," she said.

But this is also not illegal drug activity.

"We are not talking about recreation-use marijuana," said Coun. Arif 
Khan, noting it's used for pain management for seizures, cancer and 
other medical conditions.

Zvi Lifshiz, executive director of Invest Barrie, noted it won't be a 
retail outlet.

"There's no window to go and buy," he said. "A lot of the quantities 
of medical marijuana do not (produce) a high."

Licensed producers must comply with municipal zoning bylaws and 
notify local authorities of their intentions, including site 
location. These producers can be licenced to grow, process, sell, 
ship, deliver, transport, destroy, export or import marijuana for 
medical purposes.

Health Canada released new regulations for medical marijuana in 2013 
to address its production, which came into effect April 1, 2014.

The medical benefits of marijuana remain controversial, although the 
relief of chronic pain is most often cited.

Health Canada says dried marijuana is not an approved drug or 
medicine in this country. The Canadian government doesn't endorse the 
use of marijuana, but the courts have required reasonable access to a 
legal source of marijuana when authorized by a physician.

Earlier this spring, city council approved an expansion of permitted 
uses within the industrial section of Barrie's comprehensive zoning 
bylaw which included medical marijuana production facilities.

Ontario's Municipal Act has restrictions about what local governments 
can and cannot licence. It states a municipality shall not pass a 
business licensing bylaw, providing for a system of licences, which 
makes it illegal for a business to carry on or engage in the business 
without a licence

This includes a manufacturing or an industrial business, except to 
the extent that it sells its products or raw material by retail, the 
sale of goods by wholesale and the generation, exploitation, 
extraction, harvesting, processing, renewal or transportation of 
natural resources.

But nothing in the Act prevents a municipality from providing for a 
system of licences for a business under any bylaw - other than a 
business licensing bylaw.

City staff have said there is interest from developers in locating 
medical marijuana facilities in Barrie, so the city needs specific 
zoning regulations to dictate how and where they would operate.

The majority of the city's general industrial land is located in the 
south end, although there is some in central Barrie.

The proposed bylaw includes a fee of $205 for a new business licence 
for a medical marijuana facility, and a $205 renewal fee.



The Family Health and Mental Wellness Outreach Program will visit 
Barrie this weekend. One of its sponsors is CannTrust, a licensed 
producer of medical marijuana owned and operated solely by 
pharmacists in Vaughan. CannTrust will have its teams of physicians, 
nurses and pharmacists there to talk to interested veterans, Canadian 
Armed Forces members and their families. The program will provide 
awareness, education and support to those who suffer from health 
issues and mental challenges. This event will take place at Barrie 
Royal Canadian Legion Dr. W. C. (Bill) Little M. M. Branch 147 at 410 
St. Vincent St., June 13 and 14, from noon to 6 p.m. each day.

For more information, visit
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom