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New West to restrict pot production zones

New Westminster is moving toward restricting marijuana production to the city's heavy industrial districts.

The federal government has recently announced it will license producers for medical marijuana as of March 2014. Currently if the new Health Canada system system is adopted, a licence holder would be able to grow pot in New Westminster's two tiny agricultural districts or in light industrial areas where manufacturing and storage of pharmaceuticals is allowed.

Since Health Canada is looking for large-scale production, the city is proposing any potential legal grow-ops be confined to areas zoned for heavy industrial use because it involves production and packaging.

A report to council notes that should reduce the likelihood of conflicting with adjoining residences. It also pointed out any successful licensee would have to get development and building permits as well as a business licence to establish production in New Westminster.

The proposed zoning changes will be submitted to the city's advisory planning commission for comment before council votes on it.

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