The City of Delta wants to see Metro Vancouver and Health Canada get a lot tougher regulating cannabis operations.
At its Sept. 16 meeting, Delta council endorsed a staff report requesting Metro Vancouver amend its proposed emission regulation so it applies to all cannabis production facilities regardless of size.
Delta also wants to see Metro Vancouver work with Health Canada to ensure regulations are linked to federal requirements related to odour control for cannabis operations and to develop a collaborative approach for compliance and enforcement.
According to the Delta staff report, the city has been proactive in introducing bylaw amendments and other measures to address the legalization of non-medical cannabis.
Staff are in the process of reviewing Delta’s business licence bylaw to explore opportunities for additional regulatory controls and cost recovery related to permitted cannabis operations in the city.
“Since the legalization of non-medical cannabis in Canada, regulatory authorities have been challenged to deal with odours arising from cannabis producing and processing facilities,” said director of corporate services Mel Cheesman. “Staff believe that a collaborative, multi-jurisdictional approach is the most effective way to deal with the odour issue when it is impacting local residents.”
Coun. Lois Jackson said she has little faith in Metro Vancouver when it comes to regulating odours.
“As we have seen by comments earlier in the night with regards to odours at GFL and now here with cannabis, in my opinion, Metro Vancouver gets a failing grade when it comes to regulating odours in our community,” said Jackson. “I would have hoped, with all due respect to staff, that these recommendations were stronger. We have to be much more specific if we want to get something done. Why can’t this be done at the federal level with the licensing to say that we have to have no odour from these plants?
“Health Canada is not going to enforce this. I feel this report could be stronger. I think this will just continue to go round and round.”
Mayor George Harvie pointed out to council that he was part of a meeting earlier this month with federal public safety minister Bill Blair where he reiterated Delta’s position with regards to Health Canada’s enforcement policies.
“I impressed upon him that Health Canada is not following its own procedures, its own regulations, that they are issuing licences for greenhouse operations in Delta under their authority that do not meet their regulations,” said Harvie.
“I would like to know why we can’t have a legal opinion as to how we can legally challenge Health Canada for not following their own regulations in issuing licences. I don’t know how you can issue a licence when it doesn’t comply with your own regulation.”
Staff will bring a report back to council.