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Sechelt council adopts cannabis retail policy

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Sechelt council has adopted a policy for dealing with applications for non-medical cannabis retailing.

The district is currently home to four shops that pre-date legalization and are operating under temporary use permits to give the owners time to pursue provincial approval.

The policy, which is not the same as a zoning bylaw, allows for cannabis retailers to be considered on property zoned C-2 Commercial within the areas defined in the official community plan as “Downtown Centre” and “Regional Commercial,” which is the retail and business hub in Wilson Creek.

The policy also says Sechelt will “limit the total number of cannabis retail establishments to six to avoid proliferation [and] to maintain the vibrancy of the Downtown Core and avoid an overconcentration of uses, [and that] no more than five establishments may be located within this designated area. A maximum of two may be located in the Regional Commercial Designation (Wilson Creek), providing the overall number of establishments does not exceed six.”

There will also have to be a 150-metre buffer around schools and the district will impose guidelines on the look of storefronts including a ban, already in the provincial legislation, against signage that uses “language that implies a medical use” such as “dispensary,” “clinic,” “apothecary” or “pharmacy.”

The new policy does leave the door open for potential retailers who want to apply to set up shop outside the areas set out in the policy, but it would require a full site-specific rezoning process.

Council is expected to consider an amendment to the general zoning bylaw to add non-medical cannabis retail as a conditionally permitted use in the C-2 Commercial Zone.

Unlike applications for liquor licences, municipalities have the authority to deny applications for a cannabis retail licence on referral from the province.

So far, no potential cannabis retailers have gotten to the point with their applications to the Liquour and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) that they’ve been referred back to council for comment and the LCRB has not yet approved any non-medical cannabis shops on the Sunshine Coast.

 

WWW.COASTREPORTER.NET

Sechelt council has adopted a policy for dealing with applications for non-medical cannabis retailing. The district is currently home to four shops that...

 

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