Photo by Scott Strasser

Cumberland council considers cannabis course

The Village will allow two temporary use permits to cannabis retail outlets within Cumberland

The Village of Cumberland will follow in Langford’s footsteps when it comes to addressing the legalization of recreational cannabis.

In May, the City of Langford approved its guiding principles for determining the locations of retail cannabis outlets. The City will prohibit cannabis retail in all zones, but issue Temporary Use Permits (TUP) to five successful applicants. The TUP will allow them to sell recreational weed for three years, with the possibility of a three-year extension.

According to the City of Langford’s framework, retail cannabis outlets must be at least 500 metres from each other, 300 metres from schools or group daycares, 150 metres from certain parks, and at least 50 metres from any zoned one- and two-family residential (R1 and R2) land. The City says these restrictions will limit the number of cannabis retail locations in Langford to five.

On June 25, Cumberland village council considered two options; following Langford’s model of approving TUPs to interested applicants, or moving ahead with zoning changes that would allow cannabis sales as a permitted use within a specified area. The City of Nelson is one example of a municipality pursuing the rezoning approach.

Read More: Where will Comox Valley residents go to buy their weed?

Following a report from Village planner Judith Walker on Monday, Cumberland council members expressed their support for the TUP approach.

“I do like the idea of temporary use permits… and the ability to renew it,” said Coun. Gywn Sproule.

Following a 20-minute discussion on what legalized cannabis will look like in Cumberland, council approved a series of motions.

The first was that the village’s cannabis retail outlets are at least 150 metres from any school. Council then approved a maximum of two retail outlets within the village, and that they are located at least 50 metres from each other.

Council also approved a motion that the TUP for each outlet will last for three years (with the possibility of a three-year extension) and that the businesses must be closed between 11 p.m. and 9 a.m.

According to Walker, the Village will have to amend at least three bylaws and create one new policy to address the legalization of cannabis.

Village chief administrative officer Sundance Topham said staff will come back to council later this summer with a draft policy and amended bylaws. He said the Village will also conduct a public consultation before issuing a request for proposal for TUP applicants.

The federal government has set Oct. 17 as the date for the legalization of non-medicinal cannabis. Its retail sale in any B.C. municipality will have to comply with the legislative frameworks created by both federal and provincial governments.

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