A Vernon councillor would like to see pot shops shut down if they’re not complying with the city’s registration policy.
City staff say they’re working with the city’s 14 cannabis dispensaries on the licensing process — and while most have been compliant — two have not, which under the city’s policy, means they can be closed down.
Councillor Dalvir Nahal says those stores shouldn’t get any special treatment.
“There is no point in having a bylaw if people aren’t going to follow it. We gave everybody a deadline, so if they don’t meet that deadline I don’t feel like we should be working with them to try and keep them open. As I’ve stated so many times before, we have way too many pot shops in Vernon,” Nahal tells Beach Radio News.
Mayor Akbal Mund says the stores in question apparently have landlords, and are waiting for approval from their owners, but he says city staff are looking at setting a final deadline for compliance — or they will be shut down.
There’s concerns the shops could be allowed to stay open once legalization begins, under a grandfather clause, if they are not closed by then.
City staff have still been working with the holdouts, but councillor Scott Anderson says there’s a limit to that.
“We’ve been (the city) been very, very accommodating, where some towns are simply saying ‘No, we are not going to do it (allow the shops). We are shutting everyone down.’ I’m a little leery of this continuing,” says Anderson.
Under the city’s policy, the shops have to pay a five-thousand dollar application fee, and two-thousand dollars a year for their license.
If approved, storefront sellers of cannabis will be issued temporary use permits and have to register a covenant on their property.
The permits would be used until federal legalization occurs, now targeted for this fall.