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Monday, October 15, 2018
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PRRD moves closer to passing bylaw prohibiting sales of cannabis, pipes, bongs, and vaporizers

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District has moved one step closer to pre-emptively prohibiting the sale of cannabis ahead of the legalization of recreational cannabis this fall.

At last week’s meeting, the PRRD Board voted in favour passing second reading on the proposed bylaw, which would disallow not only the sale of recreational cannabis, but also would prohibit the sale of any items that could be used to consume cannabis such as pipes, bongs, vaporizers, or similar accessories.

The proposed bylaw passed first reading back on February 22nd, after which it was sent off for a legal review.

After getting back the recommendations from that review, PRRD staff made several amendments to the bylaw, including adding definitions for ‘cannabis,’ ‘cannabis accessory,’ and ‘cannabis-related business,’ while also amending a reference to the since-repealed Municipal Act.

In a report presented to the Board back in February, staff wrote that the intention of the ban on cannabis sales is pre-emptive to prevent cannabis retail stores setting up shop and becoming grandfathered in.

“Through the zoning amendment process, the Regional Board would have an opportunity to look at the specific context of the location and consider public input,” said the report.

So far, a number of municipalities in Northeast B.C. have passed bylaws or are in the process of passing bylaws allowing recreational cannabis sales, including Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, and Tumbler Ridge.

Earlier this year, the District of Taylor passed a bylaw pre-emptively banning the sale of cannabis in order for District Council to learn more about the provincial government’s regulations and to gather feedback from residents.

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With the Regional District Board voting in favour of the bylaw passing second reading, the PRRD will hold a public hearing on the proposed bylaw, which will take place at the Regional Board meeting on August 23rd.

The full bylaw and discussion at last week’s meeting can be found here (item B-2 under the Bylaws section): http://prrd.bc.ca/board/agendas/2018/2018-23-881821274/AGENDA.html

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