Vernon council considers changing the rules of the game for pot shops
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October 23, 2017 - 4:16 PM
VERNON - Vernon council is considering putting restrictions on the storefront sale of marijuana.
Coun. Catherine Lord says if approved, the idea would be to effectively force the closure of all of Vernon's pot shops, and then grant temporary use permits on a case-by-case basis. Lord says there are about a dozen dispensaries operating in Vernon.
"The current ones would have to stop operating, but apply for a temporary use permit. They could do that to continue operating,” Lord says.
If the changes get approved, Lord says shops might have to shut down for a period of time while they wait for their temporary use permit. Businesses would have to come before council in a public hearing to request the permit which could be denied, Lord says.
“One of the things that is worrying a couple of us is some of them are growing on the premises as well. We want to eliminate that,” Lord says.
She says medical marijuana does provide a benefit to many people, and council “doesn’t want to eliminate that entirely” they just want to bring in some regulations.
The motion that was approved specifically states that Vernon council is directing city staff to bring forward a draft amendment that would prohibit the storefront sale of cannabis. It further directs staff to pursue zoning amendments that would permit the sale of cannabis “following the introduction of appropriate legislation by the province, expected in 2018.”
The motion further directs administration to “advise the dispensaries of their effective date of closure” and the option to pursue a temporary use permit until council has approved a business licensing bylaw and the province has introduced legislation regulating the sale of marijuana.
Council will consider the draft amendments in the coming weeks.
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