Former PM backs medical marijuana grow op

Former prime minister John Turner, a board member with Muileboom Organics Inc., and company...

Former prime minister John Turner, a board member with Muileboom Organics Inc., and company president Marc Kealey listen to presentations Monday night from concerned residents regarding the company's proposed commercial medical marijuana grow operation on in Port Colborne, Ont. (MARYANNE FIRTH/QMI Agency)

Maryanne Firth, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:08 PM ET

PORT COLBORNE, Ont. — He's never smoked it, he says, but commercially grown medical marijuana “makes sense” to former prime minister John Turner.

Turner attended Port Colborne, Ont., city council Monday night to show his support for Muileboom Organics Inc., which has applied for its commercial licence to grow federally regulated medical pot.

Turner, a member of the company’s board, did not speak during the public planning hearing, instead sitting silently in the front row of the gallery as discussions got underway.

But on Tuesday, he expressed his motivation behind his involvement.

"The Canadian government's behind it. I think Canadian people understand the merits of it. Besides the odd neighbourhood problem, which I understand, it makes a lot of sense," he told QMI Agency on Tuesday.

Asked if he himself is a user of medical marijuana, the 84-year-old Toronto resident said with a laugh: "I've never used it, no."

Monday's hearing addressed the city-initiated application for a zoning bylaw amendment meant to provide Port Colborne with more control over where medical marijuana facilities, already permitted as an agricultural use, can set up in the municipality.

New federal regulations come into effect April 1 that regulate larger production, processing and distribution of marijuana.

The Pinecrest grow-op is currently licensed for individual use, not commercial, but has already drawn opposition from residents.

Gary Dingman, who lives across the street, said it “smells like someone dropped a million skunks.”

Maryanne.firth@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @mfirthTribune

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