City goes ahead with pot dispensary ban

Dispensaries: Council will push feds to clarify marijuana status

City council has ruled that medical marijuana dispensaries are not legally permitted in Campbell River but said it would “push” the federal government to make a decision on marijuana legislation.

Council, at its Tuesday night meeting, adopted a bylaw amendment prohibiting all marijuana operations – including dispensaries – unless they are legally permitted through Health Canada.

The bylaw has been at the council table since April, shortly after two dispensaries – WeeMedical and Trees Dispensary – took up operations in Campbell River.

Trees has since shut down following movement by council to make dispensaries illegal in the city.

Mayor Andy Adams said council, in making its decision, did take into account the emotional testimony from those with medical issues who, at last month’s public hearing, shared how cannabis has changed their lives.

“Our response to them is that we will continue to push the federal government to provide some urgency in what they have said they are going to do so that the local governments can have some clarity in moving forward with regulations and legislations,” Adams said.

The federal government has announced it will be handing down legislation concerning legalization next spring and the government has been given a deadline of August, 2016 to come up with legislation to address medical marijuana access challenges.

In the meantime, medical marijuana dispensaries have opened up in communities across Canada in anticipation of changing legislation despite the retail sale of cannabis currently being illegal in Canada.

Kevin Brooks, the city’s development services supervisor, said because that extends to all oils and edibles derived from cannabis, it is illegal for dispensaries to be distributing such products unless they have approval from Health Canada.

Brooks said that means the city can’t legally accommodate medical marijuana dispensaries until the law changes.

Council, at its May 9 meeting, had discussed issuing medical marijuana dispensaries a temporary use permit – a tool the city uses to allow uses that are not permitted under the zoning of the property being utilized.

At Monday’s meeting, however, Brooks recommended council not go down that road.

“Permitting any use that is federally criminal is not legally valid and beyond the authority of a municipal government,” Brooks said.

He clarified, though, that once the use of marijuana is legalized, or if an operator has a permit from Health Canada, council could consider a temporary use permit in those circumstances.

Council, in the end, with Coun. Larry Samson opposed, agreed with city staff and voted to deny issuing the temporary licence permits, at least until such time that the federal government implements legislation addressing medical marijuana access which is expected to come down in August.

“It’s just three months,” Coun. Charlie Cornfield said.

“I think it’s better we just chug along as we’ve been doing and we take it as the senior government decides on the legislation. It’s a short time period.”

 

 

Just Posted

Family Literacy Week in Campbell River a chance to celebrate play

A few additions to the itinerary from previous years, week-long event ‘shaping up to be super great’

Vancouver Island amateur radio operators now better equipped to help in an emergency

More courses starting soon for those interested in helping SRD communicate after a major event

Campbell River-area First Nation chief steps down due to health

After serving five terms as Chief of the Wei Wai Kum Nation,… Continue reading

Report: City of Campbell River needs a maintenance plan for Nunns Creek Nature Trust

Extensive ecological inventory shows both the good and the bad of city-leased lands downtown

Campbell River Fire Department douses truck fire on Inland Island Highway

A driver pulled over when the engine in his truck started smoking… Continue reading

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Woman in Nanaimo buys $70 worth of ice cream with allegedly stolen debit card

Purchase said to have occurred on Jan. 11 at 2 a.m. at Nicol General Store

RCMP nail alleged sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Most Read