The District of Sicamous council struck down a prohibition on the sale of recreational cannabis in the district and enacted a policy with rules for setting up stores.
The prohibition was put in place in May 2018 so the district would have time to draft a policy giving them a framework on how to deal with cannabis retail applications referred to them by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB).
Following a period of public consultation that seemed to show more of the public was in favour of an end to the prohibition than for it, council approved a policy at their Jan. 30 council meeting. The policy effectively restricts the number of stores in the district to two and mandates that they not be located within 150 metres of schools.
Cannabis stores will be allowed within commercial zones in Sicamous’ town centre but their location must be approved by a council resolution and the B.C. government through the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB).
District planner Melinda Smyrl noted the policy doesn’t affect council’s final authority to rule on approving or denying applications to set up cannabis stores.
Those applying to the district for permission to set up a cannabis store will have to pay a non-refundable surcharge which will cover the staff time necessary to process their application and costs associated with notifying the public of the application. Public hearing will allow people to provide input on the application before council makes their decision.
Coun. Malcolm Makayev asked if the possibility of giving preference to locally-owned cannabis stores which was raised during the public consultation could be added to the policy. Smryl said a preference for local ownership could be amended into the policy.