Officials included (from left) Township fire chief Stephen Gamble, RCMP Supt. Murray Power, Langley East MLA Rich Coleman, Township Mayor Jack Froese, School Board Chair Megan Dykeman, Langley MLA Mary Polak, and Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Commercial cannabis dominates talk at Langley town hall

The mayor and provincial officials fielded several questions about legal pot growing

Glen Valley residents raised concerns over a local marijuana growing operation with elected leaders at a town hall meeting Wednesday night.

There were only about 35 to 40 residents in the audience, but a number of them had come specifically to ask about commercial cannabis operations, with moderator Frank Bucholtz fielding numerous questions on the topic.

Residents were concerned about everything from odour and excessive nighttime light from the greenhouses, to the possible impact of water use on the local aquifer. One also asked for a moratorium on new cannabis growing operations in the Township.

Mayor Jack Froese noted that provincial regulations have much more weight than local rules – and that the Township can’t ban cannabis growing.

The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) ruled cannabis was a farm product several years ago, which means it can be grown anywhere in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The Township tried to confine growing to industrial land and lost that battle.

Other types of farming that can cause odours or lights, such as hothouse tomato growing or mushroom farming, are regulated based on “normal farm practices.”

“Cannabis production is so new, we don’t know what normal farm practice is,” Froese said.

On water use, Langley MLA Mary Polak noted that an agricultural operation would need a water license from the Ministry of Forests and Lands.

“They live and breathe water allocation in that department,” she said. If water is scarce, the rule is that residential use comes first, then maintenance of animals.

Langley East MLA Rich Coleman said he would be talking to the Glen Valley Cannabis operators.

He also noted that the federal laws, as written, give no leeway for odour, and says growers have to control it.

“The federal act needs to be enforced,” Coleman said, citing complaints about a different large-scale cannabis operation, that of Canopy Growth near Zero Avenue and 264th Street.

“This thing has just moved so fast,” Coleman said. “The enforcement side needs to be beefed up.”

Growing operations that can’t control odours should be shut down, Coleman said to applause from the audience.

Coleman left the meeting briefly several times, and at the end told the audience that he had reached out to Canopy Growth. He was told that shades that cut down on light at night are computer controlled and should be automatically close.

Coleman advised local residents to take photos if there were issues with light, and said he didn’t believe local growers have done enough to control odour.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Try this on for size… free suits!

Langley Moores donates hundreds of outfits to WorkBC that people in need can wear for job interviews

Cloverdale town hall adresses climate change and loss of biodiversity

Meeting co-hosted by Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag, Camp We Empower draws about 70 people

World cup: A party within a party in Langley

tbird offers ringside way to take in sights and sounds of horse action this Sunday

RibFest smokes last year’s totals

An estimated $100,000 was raised by local Rotary clubs

Mural for Aldergrove murder victim remains as Freshco renovates

Kyle ‘Newbie’ Marud’s unsolved 2007 murder, still on the minds Aldergrove residents

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town hit by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

North Van music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Most Read