The regulation of cannabis in Prince Rupert was the primary focus for city council on Nov. 26 at the city’s regular meeting of council.
Council heard a report on the Nov. 13 public information meeting on proposed regulations governing the retail sale of cannabis in Prince Rupert.
At that meeting, the city’s communications manager Veronika Stewart gave a presentation explaining the application process to attain a business licence to sell cannabis in Prince Rupert, as well as the proposed boundaries where such businesses can operate.
Following the presentation, Stewart and city planner Zeno Krekic answered questions from the audience regarding the proposed regulations.
Based on that feedback, there were two proposed items on the agenda that could affect the zoning bylaw currently recommended to council.
The first was exclusion of Rupert Square Mall from the area where cannabis retail stores can be located. In Krekic’s report, the manager of the mall stated its partners were not in full agreement about whether the property should be included in the designated cannabis retail area.
Krekic told council that he asked for a formal letter from the mall manager requesting exclusion. However, the mall’s owners decided not to send a letter, and as a result, the proposed area will remain the same and will continue to include the mall.
Krekic noted that the mall’s owners could also choose not to lease property to cannabis retail business if they wanted.
“The ownership, as they change from time to time, can have a policy if they do or do not want to allow the sale of cannabis on the premises,” Krekic said.
The second proposed item that could affect the proposed bylaw is creating an additional zone where a cannabis retail business can operate. This item is in response to a request by the property owner at 1100 Park Avenue at Five Corners in Prince Rupert.
Tenants of that property have interest in opening a cannabis retail store, but would have to apply for either a zoning amendment or development variance permit under the current bylaw as the property falls outside the designated retail
Krekic presented council with the revised area that included Five Corners and the specified section of Park Avenue. Council voted unanimously to accept the proposed ammendments to Bylaw 3430 2018, gave first and second readings to the ammendments and scheduled a public hearing on Dec. 10 before the regular council meeting.