The regional district is preparing its strategy for regulating legalized cannabis. (Lakes District News file photo)

RDBN planning pot bylaws

Aspiring pot-store owners may face hurdles

If somebody offers to open up a cannabis shop, local governments can just say no. That was one of the messages delivered by planning director Jason Llewellyn on April 5, during a Regional District of Bulkley Nechako (RDBN) committee of the whole meeting.

Cannabis will be sold in government-run shops operated by the Liquor Distribution Branch and private stores licensed by the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, according to B.C.’s recently announced regulations.

But aspiring pot-store owners may have significant hurdles to jump through at the municipal or regional level, since those governments will be in charge of where those shops can go. .

“The province is saying very strongly that municipalities and regional districts will have a veto — you can say no to any location,” Llewellyn said, as he presented a report on cannabis legalization to the committee. “Local governments will have that control.”

Local governments will have to carry out a public consultation as part of the approval process, but the details of how those consultations work won’t be known until later, Llewellyn said.

Most lawyers are telling local governments to prohibit all cannabis retailing until they have more information about the legal implications of the changes, he said.

“Once the provincial model is laid out and issues are addressed, then consider opening up your bylaws,” Llewellyn said.

Recreational production

As for growers, the RDBN already allows for medical pot-growing facilities in certain areas, following amendments to zoning bylaws in 2014. Regional district staff are considering similar rules for recreational cannabis production, according to the report.

The RDBN currently allows medical cannabis growing in agricultural areas, sparsely populated “rural resource” zones and special industrial areas.

Planning staff haven’t yet made their recommendations about recreational pot growing to the RDBN directors, but they’re leaning towards treating it the same as medical marijuana, according to the report.

Public use

The province is expected to develop legislation that would allow cannabis use in areas where people can already smoke tobacco or use vapes.

However, using cannabis won’t be allowed in playgrounds and other places frequented by kids or in vehicles, the report states.

The planning report came amid hurried efforts by local governments across the country to prepare for the legalization of cannabis. Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, may come into effect as early as August.

Just Posted

Burns Lake’s untapped potential as trail running destination

Burns Lake is firmly on the map for mountain biking and cross-country… Continue reading

LNG Canada support far outweighs protests, CEO says

Andy Calitz vows completion on schedule at B.C. Natural Resource Forum

Three drivers found impaired, most sober during holidays, RCMP says

Three drivers in the Burns Lake area were caught drunk driving during… Continue reading

Telkwa mayor hopes to draw new business to the north

The mayor of Telkwa is looking to draw new opportunities to the… Continue reading

CNC earmarks $100,000 towards 94 student entrance awards

The College of New Caledonia (CNC) is dedicating $100,000 towards 94 student… Continue reading

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

Saik’uz First Nation signs 1-year fibre supply agreement

The agreement with Nechako Lumber will aid in more employment while respecting the environment

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

Most Read