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Kelowna takes proactive approach to marijuana dispensaries

FILE PHOTO - In this photo, medical marijuana clone plants are shown at a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif., Feb.1, 2013. Kelowna City Council has taken proactive measures to prohibit marijuana dispensaries in Kelowna.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Jeff Chiu
April 10, 2017 - 4:23 PM

KELOWNA - Kelowna city council has decided to be proactive when it comes to marijuana dispensaries.

Council has approved a bylaw amendment that will now prohibit marijuana dispensaries in the City of Kelowna. The change will now go to a public hearing on May 2.

The amendment clarifies that marijuana dispensaries are illegal in Kelowna and the hope is it will deter people from purchasing property with the intention of turning it into a dispensary.

“This is a proactive measure that would save the City of Kelowna a lot of money that could go towards shutting down illegal dispensaries,” Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran says. “Vancouver is having that exact issue now and we want to avoid it.”

The bylaw can be amended further once there is more clarification from the federal and provincial governments when it comes to the distribution of medical marijuana. For example, areas near schools or parks can be specifically singled out as places where dispensaries won’t be able to go. 

Coun. Charlie Hodge was the only one to oppose the bylaw amendment.

“Why are we putting more stuff into a bylaw where we don’t even know what’s going to come in terms of how marijuana is going to be sold?” Hodge says. “Once something is in a bylaw it’s really hard to take out.”

Several marijuana dispensaries have been shut down over the last few months as they are deemed illegal. 

The legislation to legalize marijuana in Canada will be introduced in Parliament on Thursday, April 13, 2017.


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