A Williams Lake City Councillor is looking to reap the economic benefits cannabis could bring once it becomes legalized by July.
Scott Nelson made the recommendation Tuesday evening that Council supports the sale of cannabis subject to federal and provincial regulatory laws, and further encourage the commercial production in industrial zones determined inside city limits.
“We want to get ahead of the curb of this and let the community know the direction that we’re going, but more importantly we want to also recognize that there are developers that are out there that are looking at the opportunities to be able to produce, harvest, and create jobs in this industry,” he says.
“We want to be able to say that Williams Lake is open for sale.”
Nelson’s recommendation was endorsed unanimously by Councillors Ivan Bonnell, Sue Zacharias, and Mayor Walt Cobb, with Bonnell requesting for staff to bring forward a report for bylaw developments for the community’s consideration.
“We want to make sure that you don’t have pot sales going on every corner; we don’t want it by schools for example. So we’re going to enact a bylaw and take it to the public to discuss these types of initiatives,” says Nelson.
“But when you look at it from a global perspective, I think that Williams Lake wants to be a bit of a leader in this and hopefully take some advantages and create some jobs, some opportunities, new technologies, and agriculture sectors.”
Nelson also made the recommendation that Council write the Province lobbying them to agree to 100% of the provincial share of the cannabis tax sharing formula.
That was supported unanimously as well.
“If we can create some jobs, create part of an industry, diversify our community, then we can use those funds back into our community,” he says.
“I think it’s important to go along.”
(Editor’s Note: Councillors Craig Smith, Laurie Walters, and Jason Ryll were absent from Tuesday’s regular Council meeting)