The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) is intending to allow cannabis production in areas that are zoned as heavy industrial and to evaluate cannabis retail stores on a case by case basis.
“We didn’t get a lot of guidelines coming down from the provincial government when cannabis first became legal, so it’s taken us a little while,” said Chair Margo Wagner.
“We did pass bylaws quite a while ago keeping it within heavy industrial zones, that was where we felt it was most appropriate, and so now going through the planning process it’s time for us to have a public hearing.”
The public hearing on amending cannabis-related definitions in CRD zoning and rural land use bylaws will take place Thursday, August 8 in the boardroom at the CRD Williams Lake Office starting at 7 pm. Members of the public are invited to provide verbal comments at the public hearing or send written submissions 48 hours ahead of the public meeting to [email protected] or at one of the CRD’s offices.
Wagner said depending on the comments that they receive at the public hearing, it will move through the planning process and go up for a third reading followed by adoption by the Board.
“We don’t have a lot of heavy industrial zones in the electoral areas, we do in the areas that are in the fringe area. So there is some in Area F close to Williams Lake like the 150 Mile area, there are some in Area D north of Williams Lake, Area A south of Quesnel, and I think Area G would have some,” she said.
“The other issue that we discussed when we first started talking about this was to have these facilities out in the rural remote areas is policing becomes an issue, and that was one of the big concerns when we put it into heavy industrial to keep it more in the fringe area where there is policing.”
The CRD has allowed medical marijuana production in heavy industrial zones since 2014.
“The definition changes in our bylaws will clarify where cannabis production can happen in the CRD,” said Havan Surat, CRD manager of development services.
“For retail sales, we have a new policy where cannabis retail stores will be evaluated on a case by case basis in commercial zones through a site-specific rezoning application.”
The CRD’s fees for processing retail sales referrals received from the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) will vary between $700 to $1,900 depending on the application type and whether rezoning or an Official Community Plan amendment is required.
The proposed licensing fees bylaw is anticipated to be on the Board’s Sept. 13 agenda for third reading and adoption.