Medical Cannabis Grows - Key Messages for Municipalities
The below key messages are informed by AMO’s Personal and Designated Medical Cannabis Grows Staff Working Group and are provided by AMO to help municipalities in their cannabis-related advocacy.
- Municipal governments continue to call for a renewed cannabis excise tax funding arrangement that supports municipal government and community needs, such as youth and community development programs, giving a strong incentive for consumers to choose legal cannabis retailers.
- The open market for cannabis sales and storefronts has led to a proliferation of stores in some areas. Improved municipal tools to regulate the location of storefronts would help municipalities meet the needs of all residents in their communities.
- Municipal governments, residents, and communities continue to be concerned about multiple medical cannabis grow authorizations that can sometimes be located in one place. There is also concern about the lack of information on authorized operations in communities.
- Municipal governments recommend that the Cannabis Act be amended to remove the two parallel streams of recreational and medical cannabis growing and licensing and instead implement consistent requirements for licensing for both uses.
- Municipal governments recommend that the Minister establish conditions to ensure that applications are consistent with municipal by-laws, zoning, building codes, fire codes, and other relevant local requirements prior to the approval of the authorization. Information should also be disclosed to municipal by-law officers for the purposes of municipal inspections or joint inspections with Health Canada. In cases where there is a violation of a license or of a local requirement, a process should put into place for municipalities to be able to suspend a license pending a review or investigation by Health Canada into the reported violation and until the authorized grower is in compliance with all requirements.
- Municipal governments recommend that an agreement be made with the federal Attorney General to recoup the costs associated with enforcement related to medical cannabis grows. A portion of any fines and licensing fees collected should be transferred to municipal governments to cover the local cost of enforcement.