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Mississauga set to introduce new medical marijuana rules

03/11/2015 08:59 EDT | Updated 05/11/2015 05:59 EDT
Mississauga hopes to become one of the first municipalities in Canada to pass specific bylaws governing medical marijuana grow-ops.

City council is set to vote Wednesday on legislation that would require grow-ops to follow certain regulations in terms of odour and safety and be regularly inspected. Currently, the federal government dictates where grow-ops can set up and what features the facilities need.

The medical marijuana industry is worth billions and is expected to grow dramatically in the coming years. 

Mississauga Coun. Ron Starr said the goal is get some control over grow-ops and make them blend into the community better.

"If you have one of these beside you in an industrial building you'll not even know it’s there," Starr said.

The municipality would also require grow-ops to buy a $500 licence.

It would also let people like Jon Messenger, who runs a heating and air conditioning business near a grow-op, to file complaints with the city. He told CBC Toronto the smell from a nearby facility is currently unbearable.

“You'd swear we were growing it in our office,” he said.

Other nearby municipalities, like Hamilton, have used building codes and other local regulations to exert some control over grow-ops, but Mississauga is going a step further. 

Coun. Jim Tovey says the city is forced to act because Health Canada is more concerned with making sure medical marijuana doesn’t become part of the black market rather than its impact on municipalities.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of residents about this. They’re like ‘great. This is good. It’s really good the city of Mississauga is being proactive in protecting our families,’” Tovey said. 

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