There are just over three weeks left to go before marijuana is made legal yet not one of the dozen or so marijuana dispsenaries in Vernon has applied for a provincial license to sell its products, according to a City of Vernon official.
Kim Flick, director of Community Development, says the shops must get provincial approval in order to operate.
“As of October 17th, those cannabis shops will have temporary use permits and business licenses and they can be open, from the city’s perspective, but they cannot sell cannabis because none of them have a license from the province to sell cannabis,” Flick told Vernon city council on Monday.
Flick said the city has been informed that two provincial applications to sell pot in Vernon have been made, but not from those currently in operation.
“I’m just a little bit worried, or concerned, that it’s going to impact people that use the medicinal marijuana from the time that (the shops) apply for their provincial license and get approval from the municipal level,” said councillor Dalvir Nahal.
As far as the new B.C. rules go, Flick said the shops “have to buy their product from the provincial distribution system and it will be pre-packaged.”
As well, she said pot consumption is banned at those sites “so it becomes very similar, we believe, to a liquor sales distribution outlet.”
“There should be not be odour associated with the stores, as we understand it, (and) there should not be loitering,” Flick told council.
In order to prepare for legalization, council has asked staff to bring forward zoning amendments to permit non-medical cannabis sales in commercial, business and tourist areas and keep sales away from schools, parks and other areas frequented by children.
Another proposed amendment would set back cannabis cultivation facilities on agricultural land within the city a minimum of 50 metres from residential properties.
Councillor Scott Anderson said that was not far enough, suggesting at least 150 metres from houses.