Council tends to weed business growth in Prince Rupert

Cannabis businesses to be allowed in the downtown area and along Cow Bay

Setting up a cannabis shop in Prince Rupert won’t be a simple as national legalization.

A bylaw amendment allowing cannabis stores to operate in the city passed its first reading at the Oct. 9 council meeting.

The reading is the first step for the city as it prepares for the upcoming legalization of marijuana, which will take place Oct. 17.

The bylaw amendment — Bylaw No. 3430, 2018 — has now moved into the review process where the city will collect community feedback on the proposed rules under which stores will be able to sell cannabis.

“There’s a process to go through here so nothing that’s being proposed is absolutely set in stone,” said Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain. “But it’s the proposed regulations that have been drafted and put out to the community.”

City planner Zeno Krekic presented his report to council where he states that the North Coast is “a substantial distance from the main markets for processing and in addition to our environment is not conducive to a large scale commercial cultivation. However, if this conclusion is incorrect, large commercial processing and/or cultivation projects can be considered in the future on their own merits.”

READ MORE: Metlakatla gets government grant to explore cannabis business

His report focuses on the smaller retail businesses that may pop up.

In B.C., non-medical cannabis will be controlled by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB), which will oversee the monitoring and licencing of non-medicinal cannabis retail sales in the province.

However, the LCRB will not issue a licence without a positive recommendation from the municipality the business wants to operate in, giving local governments control over how and where cannabis retailers can operate through their bylaws.

In addition to adding formal definitions for cannabis and cannabis retail sales the bylaw outlines an area where the retail sale of cannabis will be permitted in Prince Rupert. The cannabis retail area stretches roughly from Second Avenue West through downtown Prince Rupert to Cow Bay.

The bylaw would also prohibit any cannabis stores operating within 75 metres of one another to prevent a clustering of the businesses.

READ MORE: Are you ready for marijuana to be legal Oct. 17?

Following Krekic’s presentation, Coun. Joy Thorkelson asked if there would be spaces where people could smoke cannabis similar to a bar or brewery. Krekic responded that the current regulations only cover the sale of cannabis, and that smoking is not currently permitted on site.

“The only place you can consume cannabis is on your private premises,” he said.

Krekic also recommended that council direct city staff to schedule a public information session at Coast Mountain College.

Council approved the first reading unanimously, and will hold the public information session the college on Nov. 13 at 5:30 p.m.

Following the information session, there will be a second reading in council followed by a public hearing and a third reading.

Brain reiterated that the effectiveness of any municipal regulations on the sale of cannabis in Prince Rupert depends on the public being engaged in the process.

“We want to do it in a way that’s safe and responsible and makes sense for the community,” said Brain. “But we really need the community’s feedback to make sure that it’s designed in a way that actually gets as much consensus as possible for the community.”

READ MORE: B.C. marijuana rules say where you can’t smoke or vape



matthew.allen@thenorthernview.com

Like us on
://www.facebook.com/thenorthernview/ target=_blank>Facebook
and follow us on Twitter

Legalized Marijuana

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Month-long water quality advisory still in effect for Rupert residents

The City of Prince Rupert recommends those with weakened immune systems boil water prior to use

Jennifer Rice North Coast MLA seeks re-election

Northwest politicians announce intent on elections

Heart of the City – Jason Scherr

Try and Try again - Prince Rupert Seamen Rugby Club

No COVID-19 public exposures in the North Health Region at this time

Northern Health Authority issued a statement on Sept. 17

Tax penalties of 10 per cent to be applied by City if not paid on time

Prince Rupert Property taxes for certain non-residential properties are due by Sept. 30

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read