When cannabis is made legal in Canada this summer business opportunists will have to wait to setup shop in Revelstoke.
On Tuesday council passed a bylaw imposing an interim prohibition on the commercial production and sale of cannabis within city limits.
“This bylaw proposes an interim prohibition on specific land uses including cannabis dispensaries both recreational and medical, commercial cannabis manufacturing and production, and it also clarifies that horticulture, where permitted, will not include the growing of cannabis at this time,” said Nigel Whitehead, director of development services.
The intent behind the bylaw is to allow city staff time to consult with the community and develop regulations on what can and can’t be done as well as where businesses can operate in the city.
“This bylaw will prevent the development of those at the time to prevent legal non-conforming uses in the future,” Whitehead said.
Though passed by council the bylaw now has to go to the Ministry of Transportation for approval before it is implemented.
“I know that there are people in the public that think all we are doing is shutting things down, but that is definitely not the case,” said Mayor Mark McKee. “We are being prudent with what we think is acceptable to the community, listening to the community and there are lots of opportunities as we move forward to the next phase of how this is going to unfold.”
The bylaw does not prevent personal use of cannabis upon legalization, however users will be required to abide by the clean air bylaw.
The city will have to work within the federal regulations, which haven’t been announced yet, as well as the provincial regulations, which are also in progress. A bylaw legalizing cannabis businesses within the city will be developed after city staff familiarize themselves with the larger framework as well as after public consultation.
The bylaw was approved after the public hearing on May 22. There were no public presentations made at the public hearing, and only one submission, which came from the Social Development Committee, was made.
The committee expressed their support of the bylaw and requested that they be involved in the future bylaw consultation process.
The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is also in the process of drafting a cannabis policy.