Woodmere Nursery signs lease to grow medical marijuana

Site could produce up to 7,000 kilograms of B.C. bud annually

Woodmere Nursery just outside of Telkwa could become the site of a medical marijuana growing operation that produces up to 7,000 kilograms of B.C. bud annually.

In an agreement announced Tuesday, Woodmere Nursey owner Joe Wong signed on to lease 80,000 square feet of greenhouse space and allow Maple Leaf Green World access to their equipment and laboratory for the purpose of growing medicinal marijuana.

The term of the lease is three years and Maple Leaf has an option to buy the entire seven-acre operation.

The lease is subject to Maple Leaf Green World receiving the proper licenses from Health Canada to grow medical marijuana, the company said in a press release and if they obtain the necessary licenses, there is no guarantee they will be able to secure the required financing to start production.

Maple Leaf Green World president Raymond Lai said the company hopes to have all their approvals in place and begin growing by September. While they operate greenhouses in other locations, this is their first attempt at growing medical marijuana.

Because Woodmere Nursery is in the Agricultrual Land Reserve, growing medical marijuana is allowed, said Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako director of planning Jason Llewellyn.

“If they’re in the ALR, then they are allowed to [grow medical marijuana], regardless of zoning,” Llewellyn said. “The Agricultural Land Commission has determined that the growing of medical marijuana is an agricultural use, therefore it’s protected by the agricultural land reserve regulations. It’s a permitted use, regardless of zoning.”

Calls to Joe Wong and Woodmere Nursery were not immediately returned.