Only two stores will be allowed to sell pot in Warfield once non-medical cannabis retail becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17.
Besides the maximum of two, those businesses cannot be within 100 metres of any school and must be located in areas zoned commercial. Moreover, hours of operation are restricted to between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.
“It was clear to council that, should dispensaries be allowed in the village, our residents wanted them to be limited to the commercial district and not be permitted in residential neighbourhoods,” Mayor Diane Langman told the Trail Times.
Council recently enacted those regulations after going through a well-rounded process which included an online survey that drew 260+ responses, an open house attended by a dozen-or-so, and a public hearing where three showed up.
Langman clarified the stretch where a storefront would be considered is on Schofield Highway between the Cornerstone Cafe and (former) Kootenay Savings Credit Union and the commercial area in Annable that encompasses Benedict’s Steakhouse and Tunnel Pub and Korpack Cement Products.
“Once an individual has applied, council will be notified and asked to either support the application or not,” Langman said.
“They will still require a regular business licence which will cost the same as the rest of our business licences.”
Trail, Rossland and Fruitvale have already tackled the issue by amending their zoning bylaws.
Storefronts will be permitted in four commercially zoned sections located in the Gulch, downtown, East Trail and Waneta. Further, Trail’s bylaw stipulates that a 100-meter buffer zone will apply to all schools, daycares and youth facilities as well as recreational sites like the arena and Aquatic Centre.
Rossland went the direction of defining cannabis stores as a separate business as opposed to just a retail operation. This will allow council to develop specific requirements such as a 150-metre buffer zone from schools and downtown youth facilities as well as installation of air filtration systems to minimize odour on neighbouring properties.
Fruitvale is closing any potential bylaw loophole by prohibiting dispensaries in residential zones.
Locally, the only municipality still working toward regulations is Montrose.
Chief Administrative Officer Larry Plotnikoff says zoning amendments regarding the production and sales of non-medical cannabis will be introduced during the Sept. 4 council meeting.
Intended bylaw changes have yet to be drafted so details are not available. However, if council does give a first reading to the respective amendment, a public hearing will be scheduled prior to the Sept. 17 council meeting.
After that council will be in the position to advance the amendment for adoption on Oct. 1.
In B.C., the wholesale distribution of recreational pot will be handled solely through the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB). The LDB wil be the operator of government-run retail stores and the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB) will be responsible for licensing and monitoring the retail sector using a mixed public/private model.