Pondering pot playing field
Wayne Moore - Feb 13 - Biz Releases

Image: Rob Gibson

Now the province has set out rules, the City of Kelowna can begin work on land-use regulations for marijuana retailers.

Rules introduced by the province last week allow recreational bud to be sold online and through both private and government-operated retail stores, once it’s made legal by Ottawa.

The sale of marijuana in outlets selling liquor or tobacco will not be allowed.

Where retailers can set up shop will be decided by cities.

Kelowna planner Ryan Smith says the announcement didn’t come as much of a surprise.

“We’ll move forward with a report for council that will probably come in at some point in March with recommendations for how to move forward in terms of a public consultation and what the bylaw changes we would like may look like,” said Smith.

“We have a little bit of work to do, but it’s more of a high-level report. It’s not going to have detailed, proposed changes in it because we’d like to do some consultations with industry and the community before we finalize what those might look like. But I think we have to have an idea of where we might be headed and what council might expect before we go there.”

Smith says it would make sense for bylaws surrounding the legal storefront sale of marijuana to mirror council policies on liquor sales. Those would include site-specific zoning, plus restrictions on proximity of retailers to each other and to schools and parks.

There could also be bylaws that would keep cannabis retailers out of specific areas of the city.

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