March 10, 2015 - 5:40 PM
WEST KELOWNA - Enquiries about setting up a medical marijuana dispensary on the Westside have prompted the district to close what they describe as a loophole in their business licensing bylaw.
“We are adding a sentence into the bylaw that essentially says a business must be in compliance with both the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs & Substances Act,” says Kirsten Jones, communications supervisor for the district. “We saw a hole in our bylaw.”
Jones acknowledged that all businesses must comply with the Criminal Code and that the district has pulled licenses before where they proved to be a front for illegal activity.
She added the companies that made the enquiries had met all the existing regulatory requirement and didn't hide the nature of the business.
"This is a way to clearly say the business must be compliant in these two areas,” she said. "It has to be legal.”
Jones said the new requirement will be confined to the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to limit the regulatory burden on businesses and district staff who must confirm compliance.
There is an existing dispensary within West Kelowna but Jones said the addition to the bylaw will not be applied retroactively. When contacted, an unidentified employee at Black Crow Herbals, said she would pass on a request for an interview but said she doubted the owners would be interested in commenting.
The amendment must still go through a public hearing process where presentations for or against the proposal can be made to council.
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