District of Peachland reviews cannabis regulations in Okanagan

Staff intend to build bylaws by tailoring regulations in neighbouring communities

The District of Peachland Council will have a report on cannabis presented to them during their April 23 meeting.

The report is an update to give council a regional context following legalization in October 2018. Council directed staff to research and report back on how other community regulations and legal cannabis framework.

The district intends to develop bylaws for cannabis in Peachland through the examples set by other communities in the Okanagan and then tailor them to the district. Views of Peachland residents will be collected through a citizen survey.

The report to be reviewed by council reveals that pharmacies within the area have inquired about selling medical cannabis following Shoppers Drug Mart’s licensing from Health Canada to distribute medicinal cannabis.

Lake Country, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Summerland, Penticton and Osoyoos are currently following the same regulations as tobacco and vaping. Which restricts any kind of smoking in any fully or substantially enclosed public place or workplace and in buffer zones such as doors, open windows and air intake vents.

However Penticton and West Kelowna have each added a few extra restrictions. In Penticton they have added prohibition of cannabis use on all public roads, sidewalks, walkways, trails and all public municipal spaces. In West Kelowna they have restricted cannabis use to only being allowed on private property and added a fine of $500.

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Retail sale varies amongst the different communities:

Lake Country:

Council resolution is required, applications for business fees are $550 and the business license fee is $510 annually but free for the first year and is permitted in two commercial zones with buffering restrictions.

Kelowna:

Rezoning is required and fees were $9,495 in 2018 and this year they are $9,685, there is a non-refundable $1,000 application fee. Retail sale is permitted in many commercial and industrial zones with buffering restrictions and there are significant form and character requirements for the businesses. An annual license fee has not been yet identified and no stores may be located on Lawrence Avenue or Leon Avenue and between Bertram Street and Abbot Street.

West Kelowna:

Rezoning is required and application fees are a non-refundable $7,500. There will only be five stores allowed by council and they will be limited to select commercial and industrial zones with buffering restrictions. There are ‘significant’ form and character requirements. An amendment to a license fee is currently $1,000 however an annual license fee has not yet been identified.

Summerland:

Council resolution is required and application fees are $1,500. Annual business fees are $400 and they are limited to two commercial zones with minimal buffering restrictions. Applicants are discouraged in mixed use buildings containing residential units and recreational and medicinal cannabis are intentionally treated separately.

Penticton:

Council resolution is required and application fees are $2,500. Annual business license fees are yet to be determined and businesses will be allowed in three commercial zones with buffering restrictions and form and character requirements.

Osoyoos:

Required site specific rezoning and application fees are $1,000. Annual business fees are set at $500 and will be permitted in three commercial zones. Council has restricted retail sales to private stores only, meaning there will be no government run stores.

READ MORE: Bulky packaging number-one complaint for cannabis retailer

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Production with vastly vary through the valley:

Lake Country:

Business licence fees will be $510 annually but will be free for the first year. They will be permitted in two industrial zones and within the Agricultural Land Reserve (A.L.R.) and and will be subject to Agricultural Land Commission (A.L.C.) restrictions along with buffering restrictions.

Kelowna:

Business application fees are $510 annually and are permitted in four different industrial zones and within the Agricultural Land Reserve (A.L.R.) and and will be subject to Agricultural Land Commission (A.L.C.) restrictions along with buffering restrictions.

West Kelowna:

Current license fees for medical cannabis is $135, no fee is established for recreational cannabis to date. There is a 150 metre buffer from any residential area, park or institutional zone. They are only permitted in one industrial zone and within the Agricultural Land Reserve (A.L.R.) and and will be subject to Agricultural Land Commission (A.L.C.) restrictions along with buffering restrictions. Production is prohibited in buildings with multiple occupancy’s unless all occupants are producing cannabis.

Summerland:

Application fees and license fees are not identified in bylaws for both recreational and medical cannabis. It will be permitted on two industrial zones within within the Agricultural Land Reserve (A.L.R.) and and will be subject to Agricultural Land Commission (A.L.C.) restrictions. It also excludes the production of cannabis by individuals for personal consumption from regulations.

Penticton:

Medical production is permitted in one industrial zone within within the Agricultural Land Reserve (A.L.R.) and and will be subject to Agricultural Land Commission (A.L.C.) restrictions. Recreational production has yet to be identified in existing bylaws.

Osoyoos:

Recreational production is defined and prohibited unless specifically permitted in the zoning bylaw. Currently recreational production is not permitted in any zone. Medical production requires site specific rezoning and application fees are $1,000. No annual business license fee is identified. It is permitted in one industrial zone within the Agricultural Land Reserve (A.L.R.) and and will be subject to Agricultural Land Commission (A.L.C.) restrictions.

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