Kelowna trying to recover $116,000 in costs from marijuana legalization | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna trying to recover $116,000 in costs from marijuana legalization

FILE PHOTO - This Feb. 13, 2013 file photo shows a marijuana bud at the grand opening of the Seattle location of the Northwest Cannabis Market, for sales of medical marijuana products.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Elaine Thompson
September 24, 2018 - 3:30 PM

KELOWNA - The City of Kelowna wants to recover all its costs to date, and going forward, for its part in the sale of recreational cannabis.

“We estimate (the city's) costs to date to create a cannabis regulatory system is about $116,000,” Community Planning Department manager Ryan Smith told council today, Sept. 24. That estimate includes legal costs, shutting down existing dispensaries, the time it has taken to establish the rezoning process and city council's time, he said.

Smith estimated it will take city staff members 40 hours to process each business licence application once they start coming in after Oct. 1, although a committee to review those applications won’t sit until early 2019.

The city is charging businesses $1,000 to make the application.

“We want to make sure applications in the first phase of the program are serious,” Smith said.

It will cost a potential cannabis retailer in Kelowna another $9,495 to go through the full rezoning process. While it costs less ($2,800 to $5,000) for other commercial rezonings, Smith pointed out that those only recover 50 to 80 per cent of the cost of processing those applications.

Coun. Charlie Hodge cast the only no vote on the bylaw amendment, saying the new fees were too high.

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