Staff have recommended against allowing recreational marijuana retail on a case-by-case basis with a preference for designated centres and villages. (District of Saanich)

Report recommends Saanich limit pot sales to zones that already permit liquor sales

Recommended option appears the most restrictive

A long-awaited report recommends Saanich limit the sale of recreational marijuana to commercial zones that permit liquor sales.

Seven commercial zones spread across Saanich currently permit liquor sales – a number below the 23 commercial zones that permit the retail sales of goods and services (but not liquor). The staff report also recommends against permitting the sale of recreational marijuana on a location-by-location basis with a preference for locations within designated centres and villages.

RELATED: Saanich continues to weed out uncertainty around recreational pot

RELATED: Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes sees plenty of opportunity in cannabis industry

Based on a series of municipal maps, this recommendation appears as the most restrictive of the three options that staff is presenting to council, as it would limit recreational retail sales to a small scattering of locations. Sixteen locations currently fall into one of the seven commercial zones that permit liquor retail sales.

Sharon Hvozdanski, Saanich’s director of planning, said staff’s recommended option would see council use the same process that council currently uses when it considers rezoning applications for new liquor retail stores.

It would be “consistent with the current provincial licensing regime for liquor” because the provincial authority regulating the retail of recreational marijuana has also been regulating the retail of liquor.

“By amending these seven zones [where liquor can be sold] to include [non-medical cannabis retail stores] as a permitted use, individual applications for non-medical cannabis retail stores within the zoned areas could be issued a business license subject to compliance with locational or other guidelines adopted by [council] and subject to meeting all provincial licensing requirements,” it reads.

Council, in other words, would not need to re-invent the regulatory wheel when it comes to approving or rejecting recreational marijuana operations.

RELATED: Saanich approach towards recreational marijuana business unclear as Victoria moves forward

Of notable interest is staff’s reasoning against the other two options, starting with allowing recreational marijuana operations only in commercial zones that permit retail sales of goods and services.

“Option 3 is also not recommended based on the large number of sites where [retail sales of goods and services] is permitted by current zoning,” it reads.

Option 2 — location-by-location retail with a preference for designated centres and villages — runs the risk of creating too much bureaucracy, while bearing the seeds of neighbourhood conflict, the report notes.

“Option 2 is not recommended because it would not provide certainty to potential applicants that their applications would be supported if all requirements are met, it would require diligence on the part of interested residents, and community associations to monitor applications, and it would not allow for timely decision.”

Council will consider the recommendations Monday prior to staff bringing forward zoning bylaw amendments subject to a public hearing.

Staff prepared the report after council approved a “full” prohibition of the sale, production and distribution of recreational cannabis until staff have had an opportunity to review federal and provincial legislation.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

 

Staff have recommendations against allowing recreational marijuana retail only in commercial zones where retail sales of goods and services is a permitted use. (District of Saanich)

Just Posted

UVic students return from Hong Kong amidst growing tension

All eight University of Victoria exchange students have returned to Canada

ICBC, province urge residents to plan ahead for winter weather

Greater Victoria should gear up and have a plan in place

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

Tillicum Centre evacuated after false alarm in Save-On-Foods

A fire alarm was mistakenly activated by falling food

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

Vancouver Island hunters may have harvested deer in area known for chronic wasting disease

Conservation officers make urgent request to public for any information

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Most Read