Town staff are urging council to be pro-active and to get ahead of the game with sales expected to begin before September.
Council can control locations by zoning and bylaw enforcement. The Liquor Control Board will sale Cannabis and can license other retailers.
1. Council may wish to consider restricting cannabis sales in all zones as a temporary measure and to update the zoning, and regulatory bylaws, to reflect the wishes of the community; and further to engage a consultant to undertake a comprehensive public engagement process
2. Council may wish to consider restricting cannabis sales in all zones as a temporary measure and to update the zoning, and regulatory bylaws, to reflect the wishes of the community; and direct staff to undertake a comprehensive public engagement process (not engage a consultant)
3. Council may wish to defer to staff for additional information
That Council direct staff to restrict cannabis sales in Oliver in all zones by amending Zoning Bylaw 1350, Business License Bylaw 1368, Business Notice Enforcement Bylaw 1321 and Municipal Ticketing Bylaw 1389; and
That Council direct staff to engage a consultant to undertake a comprehensive public engagement process to determine the wishes of the community; and
That Council allocate from general reserves up to $15,000 to engage a consultant.
Prior to legalized recreational cannabis becoming law in July 2018 (or later) there is a short window of opportunity for Oliver to address key areas with regard to zoning, licensing and enforcement. It is recommended that Council begin planning now on how to manage the retail sales component and take steps to protect Oliver’s ability to manage the new requirements in a way that aligns with the priorities of the community. There is a certain level of uncertainty and pressure to establish the policies, procedures, and regulatory requirements needed to manage this new industry effectively. Oliver will need to consider zoning and where the sales and processing will be allowed, and the impact on business licensing and permit requirements. Additional consideration with regard to assessment for fire safety and how to handle enforcement of infractions. There may be a need for criminal records checks, and greater inspection and monitoring requirements to ensure the cannabis production and sales operations meet all safety requirements.
Bylaw enforcement will be impacted by problems such as odour concerns, use in parks or other areas where smoking is restricted and other complaint-based concerns from the community. There may be impacts related to social consumption and use in public places, as well as law enforcement issues related to youth cannabis use and impaired driving. All these factors impact local communities and how local governments decide to approach recreational cannabis management in the community will ideally be based on overall sentiment of the residents.
The immediate challenge to Oliver is the lack of time to complete a comprehensive consultation program, which includes a detailed plan for zoning and other regulatory changes that require due process, such as open houses and public hearings, public information on the Town’s website, online surveys, etc.
If Council chooses to engage a consultant to undertake the public consultation process resources would be taken out of general reserves to fund. This is not a budgeted item with an estimated cost of $10 to $15 thousand.
Staff time to coordinate public engagement sessions and to amend bylaws.