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Court order to shut down Tay Township marijuana grow-op

A court order is halting a medical marijuana grow-op at a residential property in Tay Township that has been operating in contravention of municipal zoning bylaws for more than three years.

On Oct. 24, Justice R. Cary Boswell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, issued an injunction prohibiting anyone from growing, cultivating, or producing marijuana at the Coldwater Road residence.

The injunction will take effect on Jan. 15, 2019, to give time for the operation to be moved to a properly-zoned area.

Tay Township does permit cannabis grow operations and processing facilities, but only in areas zoned general industrial and prestige industrial.

Marijuana has been grown at the Coldwater Road site since July 2014, in an area zoned village commercial.

Zhangjian Fan owns the property. He was found guilty for possession and production of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking in 2017 after police seized more than 1,000 plants from a grow-op in Clearview Township in 2015.

Fan leases the Waubaushene property to Van Ty Duong. Duong grows marijuana under his own federally-approved personal medical marijuana growing licence and under the approved licences of three others: Shel Bel Xin, Tho Bich Nguyen and Hai Thanh Nguyen.

Under these licences, which were issued back in 2014, all four individuals are legally allowed to grow 244 plants each.

While the licenses have been approved and the grow-op is completely legal, it does not abide by municipal bylaws. The owners are growing marijuana in a neighbourhood not zoned for that type of activity.

Duong was advised by the township that his use of the property was in violation of the zoning bylaw in April 2015. He has been resistant to continuous efforts by the township to compel him to relocate his growing operations.

In his official ruling Justice Boswell stated, “It is clear that Mr. Duong has no intention of ceasing his operation in its present location. In other words, he is thumbing his nose at the township. He has had more than three years to come into compliance with the zoning bylaw, but he refuses to do so.”

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