Saanich’s proposed approach to the retail regulation of recreational marijuana is unique among communities in Greater Victoria. Black Press File

Saanich proposes unique approach towards the regulation of recreational marijuana

Regulations vary across the Greater Victoria region

Saanich’s proposed approach to the regulation of recreational marijuana appears straight forward compared to other communities, while adding to the diversity of approaches.

Saanich staff is recommending council limits the sale of recreational marijuana to commercial zones that permit liquor sales, citing among other points that the authority regulating the retail of recreational marijuana has also been regulating the retail of liquor.

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.

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

RELATED: Saanich continues to weed out uncertainty around recreational pot

This apparent refusal to reinvent the regulatory wheel from scratch stands in stark contrast to other regional municipalities, where regulatory regime vary, according to a report from Saanich staff.

North Saanich, Sidney, Oak Bay, View Royal and Metchosin currently prohibit the sale of non-medical cannabis, with some of those communities giving themselves space to reverse their current prohibition following consultations.

By way of background, Saanich remains in this category, after it passed a complete ban on recreational marijuana.

RELATED: Update: Saanich puts lid on future pot sales for now

Colwood also prohibits recreational marijuana in all zones except when undertaken within a licensed pharmacy, an approach found nowhere else in the region.

Esquimalt and Highlands are less restrictive, but applicants in those communities face obstacles. Central Saanich will only allow a permanent cannabis retail store after an applicant has operated a cannabis retail store for a minimum of two years under a temporary use permit that may last for three years and may only be renewed once for a total of six years. Applicants, in other words, are subject to a probationary period. Langford has offered a comparable model through the issuance of temporary use permits under a pilot project.

RELATED: Langford could soon be seeing its first retail cannabis store

Esquimalt and Highlands are less restrictive in permitting site-specific applications, an approach Saanich staff do not favour because of its potential to cause delays for would-be entrepreneurs and neighbourhood conflicts.

The approach used by the small Westshore community of Sooke approaches Saanich’s approach the closest in limiting cannabis retail use to specific zones, while also limiting the total number of stores to three, subject to various restrictions.

RELATED: City of Victoria passes new cannabis retail bylaw

Finally, Victoria has created a separate zone for cannabis sales in having perhaps created the most liberal approach towards recreational marijuana retail.

wolfgang.depner@saanichenws.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Martine Rothblatt receives honorary law degree from University of Victoria

The inventor has broken ground in communications, medicine and artificial intelligence

Free De-Stress Fest at UVic open to students, community

Friday event features performances by spoken word artists, prizes, food and more

’Tis the season for holiday cheer with a Ken Lavigne Christmas

Enjoy the magic of the season with the region’s largest indoor snowball fight

UPDATED: Police raid 23-year-old cannabis compassion club in Victoria

Supporters gather outside the Cannabis Buyers Club on Johnson Street

VicPD unable to locate suspect following James Bay ‘stalker alert’

Flyers posted around neighbourhood warn of man being followed and a verbal confrontation

B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 12

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

UBC conference faces criticism over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Province working with RCMP to address the force’s B.C. budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Use of force deemed justifiable in arrest of suspect after snowy chase near Nanaimo

Independent Investigation Office of B.C. reports on incident from late last winter

B.C. woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and South Okanagan senior’s centre members presented 150 signature petition to local MLA

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

Most Read