Pubdate: Thu, 24 Aug 2017
Source: Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Black Press
Author: Lauren Collins


Dispensary looking for temporary use licence

Despite some members of Qualicum Beach council being unsure on whether
to allow a marijuana dispensary in town, council is ready to hear from
the public on the topic.

Council voted Monday during its regular meeting for staff to give
proper notification to residents about the marijuana dispensary.
Council would then receive the comments from the public and vote on
whether to issue a temporary use permit at the Sept. 11 meeting. Coun.
Anne Skipsey was the only vote in opposition.

The proposed marijuana dispensary would be located at 675 Fir

Mayor Teunis Westbroek said he struggled with whether or not to allow
a dispensary in town, but he said as far as a notification, the town
should ask the community for its input.

Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer said there are a lot of people with severe
ailments who spend money on opioid painkillers. Luchtmeijer said he
supports the issue of a temporary licence.

"Like anything else, to make it convenient, people will make a good
choice and make those changes," he said.

According to Monday's (Aug. 21) council packet, to allow a
cannabis-related business requires either an amendment to the zoning
or a temporary use permit which would expire after a set period of
time, as opposed to a zoning amendment that is permanent. The permit
would be three years, according to provincial legislation, and can
only be renewed once.

"In the case of this medical marijuana dispensary, the temporary use
process allowed the town to monitor the business for compliance,
impact and compatibility with adjacent uses."

Coun. Neil Horner highlighted a recent court case between the City of
Parksville and WeeMedical Wellness Center, which was shut down by the
city and RCMP multiple times.

"This court case showed that if the operation in question doesn't
follow our rules, we can shut them down and we have the court
precedent to do so," Horner said.

Luchtmeijer said he doesn't want the town to end up in a situation
like Parksville had with WeeMedical.

"The fringe element comes in and opens up pot shops and sells to
anyone who walks in the door for any one of the multitude of reasons
and they have to go after them with policing and courts," Luchtmeijer
said. "The last thing we want to be doing in our community is chasing
people down because they're breaching rules and the regulations and
affecting members of our community that shouldn't be having marijuana
available on the street."

Skipsey said she is concerned about the location, which is 280 metres
from the southwest corner of the high school.

"Even though it does appear to be inevitable, the retail sale of
marijuana is still contrary to federal law," she said.

The agenda states that although marijuana dispensaries are contrary to
federal law, a number of B.C.municipalities have started issuing
business licences for retail marijuana businesses. It also says staff
has obtained legal advice that if a licence is issued, the town would
not be liable.
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