Opinion

Editorial: City becoming a pot hot spot

These are high times for prospective pot growers all across Canada, and particularly in Nanaimo.

Another company, Wildflower Marijuana Inc., is seeking medicinal marijuana growing licences from Health Canada for two locations, one in Yellow Point and one at Nanoose Bay.

Tilray, located in the Duke Point industrial park, is already licensed in Nanaimo and started growing and shipping immediately when new federal regulations came into place this year. The company has positioned itself as an industry leader, it has been responsible with its operations and security and it pays its fair share of taxes.

The fact that the company has so far been a good neighbour in Nanaimo doesn’t mean that we would have the same experience with every B.C. bud business that comes to town. According to reports, Health Canada is receiving two dozen applications a day for medicinal marijuana grow-ops – a lot of people want in on what’s shaping up to be a cash crop.

Hopefully we can trust the feds to be choosy with the applications it approves – so far Tilray is one of five legal grow-ops in B.C. and one of 13 in Canada. But if this latest applicant proves to be legitimate and upstanding and creates more local jobs, growth and tax revenue, then by all means, let’s let the company try to make a go of it here.

We do have some more general concerns. Arguably, the volume of pot being legally grown already far exceeds any reasonable medicinal demand, so the system is being abused.

With a growing supply, a growing industry and a growing lobby, there will be growing pressure on the government to relax drug policy. Toward decriminalization? Toward legalization? Those will be federal election issues a year from now.

For now, if marijuana operations want to come to Nanaimo and be good neighbours, then let’s not harsh their mellow.

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