Do you mind having a pot shop in your neighbourhood?
What about close to a playground, church or school?
And where should cannabis products be made?
Those are some of the questions being posed this month to Coquitlam residents and business owners as the municipality considers a new cannabis regulation framework.
City planners are asking the questions via an online survey that runs until Feb. 18 through letstalkcoquitlam.ca/cannabis (you can also call 604-927-3436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
The public feedback from the poll, which takes around five minutes to complete, will guide city staff as they craft proposed policy and bylaw amendments that are due to go before council this fall.
In the survey, participants are first asked about production and processing facilities.
“Production” refers to the growth or cultivation of raw cannabis, and its related operations such as drying, curing, storing, packaging and wholesale distribution; these facilities would be located in industrial zones.
And “processing” is where cannabis is pressed into other forms such as through extraction, refinement and purification of active ingredients and made into tinctures, oils and topicals, for example; these facilities would be located in industrial and/or business areas.
Retail stores wouldn’t be attached to either type of facility, according to a city staff report.
As for shops selling recreational weed, they’ll be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for commercial zones, and public consultation and council would be needed for each store.
The survey asks what areas are appropriate for retail shops; however, it doesn’t ask how pot shops should be selected — that is, whether the applications be on a first-come, first-served basis, a lottery system or a merit/criteria-based approach for vendors.
Meanwhile, Port Coquitlam — the first Tri-City municipality to allow pot shops — currently has two private retailers (burb) and a BC Cannabis Store; a second provincial outlet is being built by the Lougheed Highway strip mall, by No Frills.
A fourth cannabis store has been approved for Port Moody. Happy Hippie received its go-ahead Jan. 26 for its location on Clarke Street, following the previous approval of burb, Kiaro and Cannoe — the latter of which got the OK last month for a space at 3034 St. Johns St.