Issues: Hamilton’s prospects for medical marijuana
New federal regulations on medical marijuana officially take effect this week (April 1). Health Canada predicts users will balloon from the current 38,000 to as many as 450,000 within a decade. Pot may well be an issue in the 2014 municipal election campaign, since producers are looking for sites to grow in cities like Hamilton.
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Large-scale medical pot producers are sniffing around rural and industrial Hamilton for a place to grow.
As of April 1, new federal regulations will force medical marijuana users to buy cannabis exclusively from security-conscious, indoor commercial operations licensed by Health Canada. In the past, licensed pot users could grow their own plants or buy from cottage industry producers, a tough-to-monitor regime unpopular with police.
Hamilton is now racing to figure out how to deal with the changes as would-be mega pot producers kick the tires on sites in Flamborough and east Hamilton.
Read more of this story by Matthew Van Dongen on thespec.com
NOTE: A federal court gave existing medical marijuana growers a temporary reprieve a few weeks ago but Ottawa announced March 31 it will appeal the ruling. See that story here.
Read more election stories on thespec.com, here.
Read more about the changes to medical marijuana laws, here.
VIDEO: Take a tour inside a pot plant
(Image: Misad Shazi sprays water on marijuana plants growing at the medical marijuana facility in Richmond, B.C., in March, 2014. The company has a license from Health Canada to grow weed for research and development purposes. Credit: The Canadian Press)