• John Jantak

Green light given for two Vaudreuil-Dorion marijuana grow-ops


The proposed marijuana growing facilities have been given the go-ahead by the Town of Vaudreuil-Dorion and will be restricted to operating in a designated industrial zone.

Two cannabis growing facilities were given the green light to proceed after Vaudreuil-Dorion council adopted two resolutions at the Monday evening council meeting on May 7 that will restrict all grow-ops to four specific zones within its industrial areas.

The intention is to isolate the facilities away from residential and commercial areas. “We have to put them somewhere. These are our most restricted industrial areas. We’ll have good quality control regarding the buildings,” Mayor Guy Pilon told The Journal.

The mayor is adamant the aroma from the marijuana plants will be confined to the interior of each facility and no odours will emanate outside. “There will be no smell outside of these buildings. This is why we decided to allow them in these zones. We already have by-laws in place that prevent odours from other types of industry,” said Pilon.

Low public turnout

A public consultation meeting held before the start of the council session to discuss the new marijuana grow-ops and two other issues related to urban development only drew about five people into the chamber, which disappointed Pilon.

“I don’t know what to say about it. Maybe people feel there’s nothing to say because it’s going to be done. But I don’t think they see the direct effect it will have on them. They see the federal and provincial governments talking about it from their end, but they don’t see the effect it will have on them from a municipal level,” said Pilon.

Residential cannabis use

While the city has taken a firm stance regarding industrial grow-ops by restricting their location, Pilon is more concerned about the regular consumption of cannabis and citizens who may decide to grow plants in their homes, especially in individual apartment and condo units.

Each owner will decide whether they will implement smoking restrictions regarding marijuana in their building. Some owners prohibit cigarette smoking and pets and Pilon assumes it will be the same for marijuana. “That will be a private decision,” he said.

Pilon is nonetheless concerned that the introduction of the new federal and provincial marijuana laws later this year may not go smoothly. “We’re talking about people’s houses and properties. This is where they live. It may be a huge mess. Right now I don’t think they understand the problems this issue can bring into their communities,” said Pilon.

Enforcement difficulties

While the city said it will apply its municipal cigarette smoking regulations to prohibit marijuana consumption in certain places such as parks and outside public buildings, Pilon said enforcing them is another matter.

The city will also examine the possibility of prohibiting the consumption of cannabis on its streets and sidewalks. “There are no regulations regarding our sidewalks. If someone decides they want to smoke cannabis like they smoke a cigarette, we’ll have to look at it. We have to be more precise as to what we want to do. After that, we have to check to see if it’ll be alright with a court or a judge,” said Pilon.