Trail council will hold a public hearing on the zoning bylaw amendment which will allow the sale of cannabis for non-medicinal purposes in certain areas of the city. (Photo by Rick Proctor on Unsplash)

Trail council will hold a public hearing on the zoning bylaw amendment which will allow the sale of cannabis for non-medicinal purposes in certain areas of the city. (Photo by Rick Proctor on Unsplash)

Hearing on pot sales in Trail slated for June 25

B.C. local government is required to hold a public hearing prior to making a zoning change

Feeling anxious over pot sales in Trail?

Residents uneasy with the retail-side of non-medical marijuana in city limits, are welcome to question Trail council at a public hearing on June 25 at 6 p.m.

The meeting comes on the heels of two readings to a bylaw change that will permit the sale of recreational cannabis in certain areas of Trail, once federal legalization is laid to rest.

“Council intends to permit the retail sales of non-medical cannabis in any commercial zone where ‘retail sales’ are presently allowed in our community,” clarified Corporate Administrator Michelle McIsaac.

“Provided that the proposed location does not fall within 100 metres of a public or private elementary or high school, recreation centre, youth centre or daycare.”

Whenever council changes a zoning bylaw or amends the Official Community Plan, a public hearing must be held.

“To provide residents with opportunity to provide input to council on matters contained in the proposed bylaw,” McIsaac explained. “Any property owner or resident of Trail who feels they would be impacted by the proposed changes to the zoning bylaw would be welcome to attend to make representation to council.”

Alternatively, written submissions can be forwarded to McIsaac at city hall, as long as they are received no later than 4:30 p.m. on the day of the public hearing.

Usually, only those living within 50 metres of a zoning change are required to be heard.

Because this particular bylaw amendment involves four broad designations that encompass a large number of properties, city officials asked for a community-wide meeting.

The commercial areas where non-medical pot sales will be allowed are classified C1, C2, C4 and C6.

Those zones are located in the Gulch, downtown, East Trail and Waneta Plaza.

“The province will not be regulating the location of retail stores or the number allowed in each community,” McIsaac pointed out. “However, local government approval of any application will be a mandatory prerequisite to the issuance of a provincial retail licence.”

In other words, even if the zoning permits the retail sale of non-medical pot in a Trail location, council will consider each application on a case-by-case basis, much like primary liquor applications.

As far as smoking pot in public, the city’s bylaw already defines marijuana smoke in terms of limitations.

The Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (Act), as well as Trail regulations, prohibit pot smoking and vaping everywhere tobacco smoking and vaping are prohibited, as well as at playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks, and other places where children commonly gather.

Smoking pot is also banned on school properties and in vehicles.

The Act sets 19 as the provincial minimum age to purchase, sell or consume cannabis, and it allows adults to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana in a public place.

Adults are authorized to grow up to four cannabis plants per household, but the plants must not be visible from public spaces off the property, and home cultivation will be banned in homes used as day-cares.