Why seven marijuana dispensaries in Penticton isn't too many | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Why seven marijuana dispensaries in Penticton isn't too many

The City of Penticton currently has seven applications for temporary use permits to operate a marijuana dispensary to come before council on Dec. 6, 2016.
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November 24, 2016 - 6:30 PM

PENTICTON - Marijuana dispensaries appear to be the latest 'growth' business in Penticton.

Planning Manager Blake Laven says the city has received applications for temporary use permits for seven dispensaries in the city, but has not issued any licenses to date.

Three dispensaries are currently active in the city, with a fourth that has shut down through the application process. An additional three applications recently submitted brings the total to seven.

Laven says while seven dispensaries may seem like a lot, if all seven were approved the numbers would equate to one dispensary for every 4,800 residents. Compare that to other municipalities in the province such as Victoria, with one per 3,300 residents, Vancouver, with one in 3,400, Vernon, with one in 4,400 and Nelson, with one in 1,300.

"Dispensaries are not licensed in Vernon or Nelson,” Laven noted in an email. “We are proposing a $5,000 a year licensing fee and a strict set of conditions for their operation, including prohibiting entrance to those under 21 years old, limitations on selling other products, prohibitions on having product visible from outside the store, requirements for ventilation and having security in place, among other requirements."

The three active dispensaries are operating without a license, but according to Building and Permitting Manager Ken Kunka, the city is holding off enforcement until final clarification on city policy is provided by council Dec. 6. The temporary use applications will also be brought before council at that time.

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