Pubdate: Fri, 07 Jul 2017
Source: Nelson Star (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Black Press
Author: Bill Metcalfe
Page: A3


Most dispensaries will have to apply for temporary use permits

Nelson City Council approved two business license applications for
medical marijuana dispensaries and denied two requests for exemptions
on Tuesday evening.

In May, council approved the applications of five dispensaries but
refused the applications of the Cannabis Compassion Club and Canna
Clinic because the two businesses did not meet some of the
requirements of the city's Medical Cannabis Business Licence Bylaw.
Since then, both businesses have re-applied.

On Tuesday, council approved Canna Clinic's new application because
the business has now provided a security plan, complied with the
signage/transparency requirements, and provided a proper ventilation

Council also approved the Compassion Club's new application on the
condition that it come into compliance with the bylaw by having more
than one employee on-site, a lease agreement, a third-party monitored
security and fire alarm system, and transparent street-front windows.

But wait: having a business license application approved does not mean
the business has been granted a licence. It just means the city has
agreed to receive the application.

To get licenced, there is a second step.

A medical cannabis business has to not only meet the requirements of
the bylaw, but it has to comply with zoning regulations that require
that cannabis businesses not be located within a certain distance of
each other, or from a school or the youth centre.

Six of the seven potential licensees are not in compliance with zoning
because they exist in a downtown cluster and close to the youth
centre. The exception is Medical Mary Jane, which plans to set up shop
in the Nelson Commons building.

So the other six, to continue operating, all have to apply for a
three-year non-renewable temporary use permit - two of them have
already done this - while the city waits for further instructions from
the federal government on how such businesses should be regulated.
Temporary use permits must be approved by council.

In the case of the Compassion Club, it will first have to satisfy the
bylaw conditions listed above, and then it can apply for a temporary
use permit.

There's another hitch. The bylaw allows for a maximum of six medical
marijuana dispensaries in Nelson, and there are currently seven applicants.

Whoever is the last one to apply for a temporary use permit may have
to argue that the bylaw be changed or varied to allow for seven.

Council voted to accept Canna Clinic's and the Compassion Club's
applications, with councillors Bob Adams and Janice Morrison voting

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the Compassion Club and the Kootenay's
Medicine Tree (whose application was accepted in May) requested
exemptions from some of the regulations.

The Compassion Club asked to be exempt from all or part of the $5,000
business licence fee, a third-party monitored fire alarm system, the
requirement that two staff be working at all times, and the
requirement that street-facing windows must be transparent.

The Kootenay's Medicine Tree asked for a reduction the $5,000 fee, or
installment payments.

Council voted to deny the requests on the grounds that to change the
rules for one business and not others is unfair, and that to reduce a
licence fee or allow it to be paid in installments amounts to council
assisting a business, which is specifically prohibited by the
Community Charter (the provincial legislation that governs
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MAP posted-by: Matt