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City to launch cannabis regulation talks

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POWELL RIVER, B.C. – With recreational cannabis set to be legalized later this year, many questions have come up for municipal governments.

To answer some of these questions, the City of Powell River is planning a series of public discussions to outline how legalization will have an impact locally, provincially and nationally.

Residents are invited to the first public meeting on Wednesday, May 9 at the Evergreen Theatre at 7:00 p.m. Government lawyer with Lidstone and Company, Sara Dublinsky, will host a presentation at the meeting, discussing legalization.

Dublinsky will cover federal and provincial authority. She will also be outlining local government authority and options for regulations. Some of these options include:

  • Council approval for each application after public consultation
  • Zoning; prohibit or limit the number and/or location of outlets
  • Hours of operation/security
  • Public consumption
  • Business licenses
  • Public consultation process

Following this meeting, there will be a second gathering on Wednesday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Max Cameron Theatre. A third meeting is set for Tuesday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m. at the Italian Community Club Hall.

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There will be a question and answer period at each meeting.

Local governments, like the City of Powell River, will be responsible for the regulation of some aspects of cannabis legalization. These include land-use zoning, business licensing, and where cannabis can be consumed.

According to a release from the city, Mayor and Council will have veto power on all retail license applications submitted to the provincial government for operations in Powell River. The city’s goal is to have its regulations in place in the near future.

A questionnaire will also be made available for residents, in hard copy form and online, to gather feedback on the legalization of recreational cannabis and how regulations should be shaped in Powell River.

Information on the legalization within the city can be found at powellriver.ca/content/legalization-cannabis.

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