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City hosting Dot-mocracy events on cannabis retail this week

A cannabis dispensary in Colorado. Photo by Vice
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The City of Fort St. John has announced the dates it will be gathering the thoughts of residents on the topic of cannabis retail operations.

At a special meeting on Tuesday, councillors voted in favour of pushing back the estimated completion date for implementing a bylaw to govern where retailers would be able to sell recreational cannabis to gather more feedback from residents. The delay was due to the federal law decriminalizing cannabis not likely being implemented by the federal government’s previously targeted July 1st date.

The City’s Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey said in a release today that while both the Federal and Provincial governments have outlined the laws regarding recreational Cannabis, each municipality is able to define land use and the placement of Cannabis Retail stores. Harvey said that City Council and staff are committed to ensuring the required zoning amendment is in place when federal legalization occurs. 

Based on previous discussions, the city has identified four main governing topics regarding the location of cannabis retail locations:  

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  1. Permitted commercial zones 
  2. Distance from schools 
  3. Distance from parks 
  4. Distance between other Cannabis Retail stores

The City says that there are three ways residents can comment on the City’s proposals. The first two are a series of Dot-mocracy events hosted by the City this week.  

The first will take place at the Totem Mall this Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and the second will take place at the Fort St. John Farmers’ Market this Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Residents can also fill out an online survey, which launched today on the City’s Let’s Talk page: http://letstalk.fortstjohn.ca/engage/lets-talk-cannabis/. The online survey runs until June 4th.

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