With plans in Campbell River for a government marijuana operation in the near future, the Strathcona Regional District has been looking at its own regulations and they govern cannabis-related activities.
In recent months, the SRD board asked to get more information regarding the establishment of regulations for cannabis production and retail sales in light of recent federal legalization.
At the SRD board meeting on Feb. 28, staff brought back a report on the issue. It noted that as of Feb. 6, the SRD has already had six inquiries regarding the production of cannabis and two regarding retail sales within SRD electoral areas.
Area B Director Noba Anderson made motion to prepare bylaws covering a regulatory framework for the production and retail sale of cannabis for Electoral Areas B and C.
Area C Director Jim Abram did express some concern that the issue involved more than simply production and retail.
“It was all aspects because there’s a whole lot more to it,” he said.
He asked whether the motion could be amended to cover everything because he was concerned about the word “retail.”
Chief administrative officer Dave Leitch said the understanding is that the bylaw would cover more than simply production and retail.
“The resolution is clear to us,” he said.
Anderson told the board the bylaws would only be for Area B and C because the directors for Area A and D did not want to consider the matter at this time.
Charlie Cornfield, a Campbell River director who seconded the motion, wondered why they did not want to, though neither area’s director provided any comment.
The board approved the motion. As well, it passed a resolution to get an opinion from the provincial government concerning a letter from an operation called Powerx based in Shawnigan Lake. The letter was sent to Abram to express interest in getting a cultivating and processing licence for a property on Quadra Island. The SRD also wants to determine if provincial licensing is necessary and what impact this could have on Agricultural Land Reserve regulations.
As to the regulatory framework, the staff report outlines the board’s move comes in response to federal changes concerning cannabis last October. The concern is that the SRD could face legal challenges in making any decisions regarding cannabis production and sales if it has not set out any cannabis-related definitions and regulations.
In response, several neighbouring local governments have put regulatory frameworks in place. The SRD board’s decision to put forward a framework for the industry will involve public consultation in accordance with the Local Government Act.