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The Osoyoos community will have a second opportunity October 1 to speak publicly about retail sales of recreational marijuana in the community.
Osoyoos Council Tuesday adopted a Cannabis Retail Sales Policy and provided first and second readings to a zoning amendment bylaw that would allow marijuana sales in the community following a site-specific review of each retail application.
It also set a public hearing on the bylaw for 7 p.m. October 1 at the Sonora Centre.
Decisions on both the zoning amendment and retail sales policy came with little discussion Tuesday, with Coun. Mike Campol being the lone council member to oppose the moves.
Coun. Campol has remained steadfast through several Council meetings in July and August in his opposition to site-specific reviews of proposed outlets.
Site-specific zoning means Council would review each proposed retail site “on its own merits,” allowing it each time to look at the proximity of the proposed outlet to schools and parks and the outlet’s potential impact on existing adjacent businesses and other properties, parking and access.
Coun. Campol, however, said individual reviews might create uncertainty for vendors wanting to set up shop in the community. He advocated a bylaw that established approved locations and zones for the outlets.
“I’m not sure we did the same thing when we discussed distilleries,” he said. “Opening zoning for distilleries or liquor licences or anything like that.”
The decisions follow a methodical progression by Council on the issue through the summer months.
- In early July, Council voted to allow cannabis sales in the community in private retail outlets but determined to ban the provincial use of outlets similar to its liquor stores;
- In August, following some discussion in mid-July, Council set the site-specific approval strategy.
The October 1 hearing will be the first opportunity in more than two years for the community to publicly speak to Council about recreational marijuana sales.
In July 2016, Council provided for a public hearing to discuss a transitional zoning measure to prohibit the sale of medical marijuana products at retail locations.
Council still has to grapple with the question of how to fund the expected increased municipal expenses accompanying legal cannabis sales in the community and how to provide for the public use of marijuana, especially on community beaches and other places children and youth frequent.