YEAR IN REVIEW: Council makes rules for recreational cannabis

YEAR IN REVIEW: Council makes rules for recreational cannabis

Our No. 2 story of 2018

Nelson entered 2018 with an already established medical cannabis bylaw that specified how many dispensaries were allowed, where they could be located, and the security measures they were required to take.

The seven medical dispensaries in the city were illegal from a federal standpoint and their locations did not conform to the city’s bylaws, but the city nonetheless gave six of them business licences that were good until the expected federal legislation.

In February, faced with the prospect of legal recreational cannabis sales in the city later in the year, council sent a survey to 4,959 households and 686 businesses in the city, asking what citizens wanted this new world to look like. The response rate was 32 per cent for households and 27 per cent for businesses.

Among the notable responses were that 75 per cent of responders thought the city should impose a maximum number of recreational cannabis stores and the same percentage thought smoking cannabis should be banned in public places.

Related:

• Cannabis: Nelson council asks for public feedback

Nelson reveals cannabis survey results

Based on the survey results and other public consultations, council came up with a set of recreational cannabis regulations that included a maximum of five stores in specified areas of town, separation distances between stores and youth-related activities, maximum floor areas, and other limitations.

In March, five employees were arrested at the MMJ dispensary and in April the city revoked MMJ’s business licence. The arrested employees have yet to be formally charged.

Council then placed a moratorium on the opening of recreational cannabis shops until such time as provincial and federal regulations were in place.

Given that they would only grant five recreational licences, how would council decide which applications to green light?

In May, they approved a business licence selection system, using a scoring matrix with 10 criteria.

Related:

• Nelson council refines proposed recreational cannabis bylaws

• Nelson council approves cannabis business selection system

In October, the federal government legalized recreational cannabis and banned the sale of medical cannabis. The medical dispensaries in Nelson asked council to allow them to remain in business despite the risk of federal prosecution until the end of December, and council consented.

Three of the dispensaries chose to remain open and are now applying for recreational licences.

The above-mentioned scoring matrix deducts up to 20 points (out of 100) if the “owners failed to comply with previous city regulations.” One of those regulations prohibits continuing to operate as a dispensary beyond Dec. 31.

In December, three of the dispensaries asked council to waive that point penalty in the event that they apply for a recreational licence, and council agreed.

Related:

• Nelson council relents on medical cannabis licences

• Four Nelson marijuana dispensaries to remain open after legalization



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

YEAR 2018

Just Posted

Kurt Swanson’s dog Kona takes a break from the heat on the Summer Solstice near Cranbrook, B.C. (Kurt Swanson photo)
Very warm temperatures forecast across the Kootenays this weekend

Nelson, Castlegar forecast to hit 39, Cranbrook 37

Fire at the former Alpine Disposal, and now GFL recycling facility, on Hwy 22 South of Trail. Photo taken just before 6 p.m. Monday June 21. Photo: John Piccolo
Industrial fire outside of Trail ravages recycling plant

Photos: The fire is reported to be at the GFL recycling facility

Kootenay forests are unusually dry for this time of year. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
On summer’s cusp, Kootenay forests are at record dry levels

Southeast Fire Centre says 4 months of unusually dry weather have had effect on the region’s forests

A disc golf basket in Art Gibbon Park. Photo: Tyler Harper
Nelson council OKs permanent disc golf course in Art Gibbon Park

The course started in the spring of 2020 as a pilot project

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Most Read