Vernon’s mayor doesn’t see the city setting any kind of limit on marijuana shops in the city, once recreational use becomes legal across Canada later this year.
Akbal Mund says that will be up to the market to determine.
“Do we decide how many gas stations we need in the community? Do we decide how many fast food restaurants we need? No we don’t do that. The market should decide how many you need, not seven individuals sitting on a council, saying, ‘Okay, I only want five,'” says Mund.
The mayor says even if 20 pot shops open, it’s not council’s role to interfere with that.
“The market will decide. Twenty people (shops) wouldn’t be able to make it in this town. There’s not enough business to go around. At least I think there’s not enough business to go around. That would be like saying, if we open another 20 gas stations in town, would they survive? Probably not.”
Mund says one thing council will be able to control is where the stores are located.
He says the city could limit how many are on 30th Avenue, for example, and how far from schools the shops will have to be.
“You’re going to obviously allow them, so where are you going to allow them? That’s the key. And I think the big concern for the general public is there is just way too many on main street (30th Avenue). Not off of main street, but just on main street,” adds Mund.