Pot bylaw to be reconsidered after Lake Country hears from the community

Cannabis companies gave their suggestions during a public hearing June 19

A new cannabis bylaw proposed for Lake Country is making its way back to council next week after a few companies voiced their concerns about it.

During a public hearing June 19, council heard the opinions from cannabis corporations about buffer zones and the suggested permanent locations of recreational shops, according to a report which will be presented to council Tuesday night.

The first version of the zoning amendment bylaw proposed that recreational cannabis shops would be allowed in the district at the Turtle Bay Crossing complex and in the town centre.

It also permitted shops from being within 1 kilometre of each other and proposed a 400-metre barrier between a shop and an existing school or daycare.

During a council meeting in May, community development manager Jamie McEwan said a daycare is currently operating with a temporary-use permit near the Turtle Bay complex, which would prevent cannabis shops from selling recreational marijuana.

Compass Cannabis Clinic is already in operation in the complex and plans to sell recreational cannabis once it is legalized.

The company suggested during the public hearing to remove the buffer between recreational shops and daycares and suggested to not build shops and daycares side by side, the report said.

“Another person who provided feedback suggested 150 m for daycares, and a greater buffer of 500 m for schools. In mid-June, for example, Port Hardy recently considered buffers of up to 150 m from schools, for example. Council may wish to consider this in the alternate recommendations,” the report said.

Council also heard from the owners of a property on Sawmill Road, asking to modify permanent foundation limits and the 1 km buffer between facilities in the ALR.

The owners plan to use only 100,000 of its proposed 740,000 square feet for indoor production, the report said.

According to district staff, the propose of the buffers is “to deal with the potential for issues with venting from cannabis production facilities, which, if within the Agricultural Land Reserve are more likely to be subject to the ‘Right to Farm,’ and therefore extremely difficult to regulate or enforce in terms of nuisance.”

If approved, the bylaw will be forwarded to a second public hearing.

The federal date for the legalization of recreational marijuana is Oct. 17.


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