Coun. Jack McClintock remains critical of the cannabis industry, but also stepped back from demands that North Saanich staff talk to Rushco Properties about making a possible contribution to agencies working in the field of those affected by substance abuse and addiction. The company plans to lease former poultry farm to cannabis growers. (Black Press Media File)

North Saanich won’t ask cannabis-related company for financial contribution

Rushco Properties plans to lease out former poultry farm to cannabis growers

North Saanich has backed off plans to speak with a local company in the cannabis industry about making a financial contribution to agencies dealing with substance abuse and addiction.

Council tabled, then rescinded a motion directing “staff to request that [Rushco Properties] consider making a financial contribution to agencies working in the field of those affected by substance abuse and addiction as part of the application.”

Councillors had narrowly approved this wording in early December, when the company had first presented its plans to convert a former poultry farm into a cannabis cultivation facility. The company does not plan to grow pot itself. It instead plans to lease the facility to pot growers.

RELATED: Cannabis cultivation: Former North Saanich chicken farm goes into pot

RELATED: Cannabis cultivation in North Saanich vows to not cause a stink, could open as early as May 2020

Coun. Jack McClintock had first proposed the idea of a financial contribution as part of a broader critique of the cannabis industry. A former cop, McClintock had questioned whether the proposal is consistent with North Saanich’s strategic plan calling for a “safe and healthy community.” The harmful effects of marijuana are well-known, he said at the time, citing his experience of more than three decades in policing.

While McClintock did not soften this larger critique, he said the specific motion itself was not appropriate at this time, saying later that he would not able to vote for it as written.

“The intention of my argument [Dec. 9] was in the industry in general, more broader than this particular applicant,” he said. He added that he did not want this motion to single out a business, adding that North Saanich can continue to make its case on the issue through regional and provincial municipal organizations.

McClintock received some support from Coun. Celia Stock, who had earlier voted against the motion during committee of the whole.

“It is true that, as a whole, the cannabis industry has not stepped forward, but then on many accounts, neither have any of the many industries that produce products that result in addiction and harm in some kind,” she said. “On a national level, I concur with Coun. McClintock’s view.” This said, she reiterated her argument that it is not within North Saanich’s responsibility.

Coun. Murray Weisenberger also questioned the optics.

“If we looked at this as some kind of land development application, it would almost be like asking for a bribe,” he said. “I think it is a poor way to go.”

Weisenberger had also earlier pointed that taxes paid on various substances help to pay for the sort of services that

Mayor Geoff Orr said the discussion offered council a chance to think about these issues.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man with debilitating injuries from 2010 Saanich arrest will get new trial

A Court of Appeals Justice made the ruling on Monday in a Vancouver courtroom

Why one Langford teacher is giving his kidney to a stranger

‘You get butterflies in your stomach,’ says man who has had 12 reconstructive surgeries

Victoria becomes first municipality to endorse campaign for provincially-funded contraception

Council passes motion to support AccessBC campaign for no-cost birth control

Greater Victoria School District will rename George Jay Elementary

The board will develop a committee to choose a new name

Indigenous youth arrested during 15-hour occupation to hold press conference Wednesday morning

The speakers are expected to condemn police, RCMP actions towards Indigenous people

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

Greater Victoria’s wanted list for the week of Jan. 28

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Sooke Minor Fastball to host coaching clinic

Clinic ideal for those planning to coach U6 to U18 teams

Most Read