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HomeNewsWilliams Lake Council Adopts Bylaw on Managing Legal Cannabis, Sets Business License...

Williams Lake Council Adopts Bylaw on Managing Legal Cannabis, Sets Business License Fees

Williams Lake will be ready come October 17th when cannabis becomes legal according to the City’s mayor.

Walt Cobb says it was interesting to see that no one made any comments at this week’s public hearing before Council’s adoption of a zoning amendment bylaw on managing legal cannabis.

“I’m assuming that we did our job and did what we needed to do cover all our bases,” Cobb said.

“I do know also that our staff because of what we’ve done at UBCM and the discussion that has been had around there people have been watching what we’ve been doing and they’ve been getting a hold of our staff so I think we have our bases covered.”

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Tuesday’s adoption of the zoning amendment bylaw will allow at maximum six retail license applications when zoning separations are applied which Cobb says he believes ‘is probably more than we will ever need.’ It also allows cannabis production/ distribution facilities in conjunction with existing heavy industrial uses in a newly created “North-End Cannabis and Heavy Industrial” Zone.

Other highlights of Bylaw No. 2272 include:

  • Cannabis retailer must be 300 metres (in a straight line from the closest lot line to the closest lot line) from public or private schools, daycares (excluding family daycares),and Cariboo Memorial Recreation Centre.
  • Cannabis retailer must be 500 metres (in a straight line from the closest lot line to the closest lot line) from another lot where a cannabis retailer is licensed and permitted, whether or not a cannabis retailer is active or not.
  • Only one cannabis retailer is allowed per lot.
  •  No drive-through and mobile cannabis retail is permitted at this time.
  •  No building or structure or portion thereof used for cannabis production or distribution shall be located closer than 100 metres to any zone that allows residential use.
  • The interior setback for a principal building for cannabis manufacturing and production or cannabis distribution may be reduced to 15m in cases where the abutting property is zoned Heavy Industrial (M-2).
  • An accessory building or structure used for security purposes for a cannabis production facility does not have to comply with the required 100m separation setback from any zone that allows residential. The general setback provisions for accessory residential use of the Cannabis Industrial zone (M-4) will apply to a building or structure used for security purposes.
  • No outdoor storage of cannabis products or processing equipment is permitted in any zone.
  • Outdoor sales of cannabis are not permitted.
  • All production and distribution facilities shall provide a minimum of 2.4 metre high opaque fence and meet the minimum standards of screening the perimeter as per the federal regulations
  • All production and distribution facilities shall provide a landscaping screen consisting of tight, evergreen shrubbery at a minimum height of 2 metres along the street face or when abutting a park or open space.

A business license fee inside city limits for cannabis producers of $5,000 per year and for cannabis retailers of $2,500 per year has also been set.

“We looked at the different areas and we’re in the ballpark,” Cobb said.

“Some are way higher-Vancouver charges up to $30,000 for a business license and a couple of other communities are charging up to $5,000.”

When asked if any legal retailers will be operating in Williams Lake come October 17th, Cobb says that he believes that the answer will be no.

“What has to happen is anybody that wants to open a store, they have to find a store and get a tentative lease signed or an agreement to lease or buy, or whatever,” he explained.

“Then they have to go to the province and apply for a license. Then the province sends that to us and gives us an opportunity to say yay or nay depending on our bylaw, and then we give the okay it meets our requirements and then the province would give them their license.”

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