Province asks municipalities for input on marijuana legalization

City of Powell River council expresses interest in providing local perspective

City of Powell River council will likely be participating in the recently announced provincial public engagement for legalizing marijuana.

The federal government has said it will legalize marijuana by July 2018, which has left BC in scramble to meet the deadline.

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City councillors CaroleAnn Leishman and Rob Southcott attended a Union of BC Municipalities session on September 25 where minister of public safety and solicitor general Mike Farnworth announced the province’s consultation.

“If any government will listen to the local governments, it’s this one,” said Leishman. “It would be a good idea for us to participate in that discussion on what makes sense for us.”

The distribution model and any possession limits will be the same across the province, but municipalities may be able to set age limits.

Leishman said she expects the province to provide a regulatory framework that local governments will be able to adjust through local zoning and land-use bylaws.

Southcott said even though Powell River has not faced the same pressure as other municipalities, participating in the province’s engagement makes sense since local governments have been left to regulate the proliferation of dispensaries on their own.

The province will be looking to the public for its thoughts on how it should handle issues such as road safety, youth and community impacts until November 1.

A web page has been created for the public input at

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