FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Fort St. John councillors will be getting their first look at a draft public consultation plan and proposed bylaw for regulating cannabis retail operations after the long weekend.
Council has scheduled a special Committee of the Whole meeting and a special council meeting for Tuesday, May 22nd, when Development Services staff will be presenting plans for regulating recreational cannabis sales in the City. On Monday, Council voted in favour of directing staff to prepare a bylaw that includes permitting cannabis stores on properties zoned C2 – Downtown Commercial Core; C3 – General Commercial; and C4 – Service Commercial zones.
A setback requirement would also be required between cannabis stores and schools or parks. Council also voted to maintain consistency with present laws governing the proximity of liquor stores by requiring a 1 kilometre radius between each store. In the legislation governing cannabis use in B.C. that was unveiled in late April, the provincial government did not put such a proximity clause on cannabis retail operations.
Councillors did not object to the provincial hours of operation restrictions of between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., which is consistent with provincial private liquor store guidelines. Council also said that the City will not regulate the total number of retail stores allowed in Fort St. John, and determined that additional security that may be required for this type of store should be decided by the business owner.
To meet the proposed Federal cannabis legalization date of July 1st, Council has indicated that the bylaws and regulations must be in place by this date.