A marijuana regulation committee formed at last month’s UBCM convention will be holding their first meeting today in Richmond.
President Wendy Booth says local governments initially were not part of the process, and that the Joint Provincial-Local Government Committee on Cannabis Regulation was announced by the provincial government at their convention to work towards regulations and legislation.
“It’s great that the province is looking for UBCM’s input from the local government level,” she says.
“There is a tight timeline. It’s really going to be coming up with the scope of the work to make sure that we get it done and come up with a framework that works for BC.”
A total of 12 representatives drawn from elected officials, staff specializing in planning, building inspection, bylaw enforcement or public safety, and senior staff were appointed to the committee.
“It goes without saying that local government will be on the frontline and instrumental in the delivery of new policies and laws associated with the legalization of non-medical cannabis in British Columbia,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth Farnworth in a media release.
“We welcome and value the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ input as we build a framework for the province focused on protecting young people, health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis and keeping our roads safe.”
The Federal Government plans to legalize marijuana by July 2018.
“It’s a huge issue for us,” said Walt Cobb, Mayor of Williams Lake in an interview in September.
“We have a lot of work to put in place to be able to manage it and to license and all of the rest of the stuff. The concern is that a lot of the costs are going to be downloaded onto the municipalities because we’re the ones that are going to have to police it and that’s our expense.”