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Cannabis Consulting: What Marijuana Growers Need To Know

In designing an efficient facility to grow medical marijuana, it is important that a well thought out plan is prepared and agreed to. Without this the cost of the project will escalate far above the budget. This plan needs to take into consideration all the requirements outlined in the regulations prepared by the governing body and the regulations of the municipality where the facility will be constructed.

 In preparing the plan, it is advisable to have the participation of the master grower as he/she will ultimately be responsible for the quality and quantity of product grown. When the master grower is not onboard during the consulting phase, it is necessary to have more than one alternative available for discussion and budgeting.

 The plan needs to cover among other things:

  • Location
  • Enclosed warehouse building or greenhouse
  • Size of facility, number of rooms for veg, flowering, clones, mother plants, etc.
  • HVAC or other heating and cooling methods  
  • Need for odor control
  • Ventilation
  • Growing method (pots on the ground or on benches, troughs, flood trays, etc)
  • CO2  dosing
  • Irrigation requirements depending on the growing method, the number of fertilizer recipes, the need for RO water purification, fertilizer water to waste or recirculation, etc.
  • Lighting (HPS, MH, LED, florescent, induction, etc. ) and if it is supplemental as in a greenhouse, or primary lighting in a warehouse.
  • Blackout shading for photoperiod for greenhouse growers
  • Computer controls
  • Mezzanine construction, and accessibility requirements for anything on additional floors
  • Maximizing use of available space

In addition to the above, the plan needs to take into consideration site security, testing labs, storage, vault, offices, packaging, shipping etc. Much of this depends on the regulations and does not affect the growing of the product.  GGS specializes in advanced growing systems and design, for the components that do not involve growing cannabis we work with an extensive network of professionals and can assist you in putting together the best team for your needs.

 The extent of GGS’s input into the plan will depend on the in-house expertise and an initial meeting is needed to determine the amount of input that is required from GGS. This can be of a conceptual nature or it can include drawings, specifications, proposals from outside suppliers, etc. Once this has been agreed to, GGS can quote a fixed price or can work by the hour in developing the plan.

Contact us if you want to discuss this further.

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Medical Marijuana on Agricultural Lands discussion in BC

The province of British Columbia has considered Canada’s new medical marijuana regulations and decided that cannabis production falls under farm use and should therefore not be prohibited by local governments in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).

As such the BC Ministry of Agriculture (AGRI) is seeking input on the establishment of a Minister’s Bylaw Standard to guide local government bylaw development regarding medical marijuana production facilities in the ALR. If approved these criteria may be incorporated as standards into the “Guide for Bylaw Development in Farming Areas”

In many provinces, and several US states, municipalities have debated whether Marijuana farming belongs on agricultural land or in industrial pharmaceutical marijuana factories. This is an important discussion for agriculture and an important discussion for the medical marijuana industry.

Canadian courts have determined that individuals who have demonstrated a medical need for marihuana must have reasonable access to a legal source of marihuana for medical purposes.  In Canada the Federal government has placed the regulation of marijuana production in the hands of Health Canada.  Federal requirements complicate provincial and municipal level decisions in regards to how agricultural rules apply.  For instance marijuana producers are required to ensure that no odor is released from the premises.  This requires special adaption to the typical greenhouse or warehouse grow operation.

The purpose of the AGRI Discussion Paper is to establishing the criteria to address local government concerns regarding Medical Marihuana Production  Facilities (MMPFs) while recognizing that MMPFs are considered a permitted use within the ALR. These criteria will be:

1.  Meet the needs of the agriculture industry;

2.  Minimize the impact of MMPFs in the agricultural area; and

3.  Minimize the risk of MMPFs being used for non-farm purposes

The discussion paper goes on to state that while marijuana production is considered agricultural by nature, that for tax assessment purposes marijuana crops will not qualify for the farm property tax status.

Proposed_provisions_for_MMPF_on_ALR_land

All interested parties can request a current copy of the document from the BC Ministry of Agriculture. You can access our copy here.

The BC Ministry of Agriculture recognises industry stakeholders:   The Canadian National Medical Marijuana Association, and The Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association.  Send your comments and concerns directly to them, the consultation period closes on October 26, 2014.

 

 

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