City of Powell River waits for cannabis rules

Province reports strong participation in public survey

While other BC municipalities have taken strong positions on preferred retail models for legalized cannabis, City of Powell River council is taking a more laid-back approach, said mayor Dave Formosa.

Formosa said that council has not taken a position on how legal cannabis will be sold in Powell River, preferring to wait and see what kind of framework the BC government will establish.

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”We haven't discussed it at all," said Formosa.

The provincial government wrapped up its public and stakeholder engagement on the legalization of non-medical cannabis November 1 with a record level of public participation.

Formosa said that while city planning staff have been tasked with preparing a report on how the city can regulate storefront dispensaries, it has not been a high priority.

“We seem to be pretty busy with building and development permit applications,” said Formosa.

Councillor Russell Brewer said that, similar to Powell River Regional District, tax revenue sharing has been at the root of city council’s concerns with legal marijuana.

“That's really what we want,” said Brewer.

He added that legalization will bring a larger draw on local resources.

“If there are going to be additional resources required to regulate, monitor and enforce, then it seems reasonable that the province and ultimately local government gets a share of those tax revenues,” said Brewer.

According to the government, more than 48,000 BC residents had their say on cannabis, making their views known on a range of topics such as minimum age, personal possession limits, public consumption, drug-impaired driving, personal cultivation and distribution and retail models.

The province plans to use the public input as it moves forward with developing its framework for legalized cannabis. The federal government has promised to make marijuana legal during the summer of 2018.

Copyright © 2017 Powell River Peak

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