Pubdate: Thu, 26 Oct 2017
Source: Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Black Press
Author: J.R. Rardon


Recommendations to province include municipalities sharing in cannabis

Local municipalities should share in the revenues of a legal
recreational marijuana economy and should retain the authority to
regulate retailers and suppliers in their communities.

Those were among the recommendations approved by Parksville city
council Monday, Oct. 23, in response to a request for input by the
provincial government into provincial regulation of marijuana
beginning in July of 2018.

The non-binding recommendations followed a report from Keeva Kehler,
the city's director of administrative services.

"We, as a staff, decided with our lawyer that there would be more
weight to the recommendations if they came in a council resolution,"
Kehler said. "There is an open forum for individuals who wish to
provide their comments. Our solicitor felt the province might consider
a resolution with a little more seriousness."

The council resolution must be submitted to the government by Nov. 1.
Council was first presented a copy of Kehler's report, outlining eight
areas of concern in the regulation of recreational marijuana, at its
Oct. 16 meeting. But that meeting was approaching four hours in length
at the time, and councillors agreed to review the report and submit
their preferences separately to Kehler in advance of Monday's special

The council resolution also recommended that:

* The minimum age for cannabis purchase and consumption be set at 19

* The gram limit for adult public possession be set at 30 grams and
for youth be set at five grams;

* Public consumption of cannabis be restricted in the same manner as
tobacco smoking and vaping;

* The Province of B.C. undertake an education campaign on the dangers
of impaired driving and adopt a zero-tolerance policy for blood THC
content with drivers with an "L" or an "N" designation; provide
additional officer training; and establish penalties similar to those
imposed for alcohol-impaired driving;

* Adults be permitted to cultivate up to four plants per household,
but only in indoor locations not visible from a spot off-premises; and
to delegate to municipal governments the authority to prohibit or
regulate home growing through zoning and building bylaws; and

* The province establish a government or hybrid government and private
distribution model for cannabis in B.C., based on the existing model
for liquor and drug stores.

"This is embryonic, I expect there to be a lot more changes," Mayor
Marc Lefebvre said. "I can live with this as a first foray to the
provincial government. We'll probably end up holding the bag, so to
speak, having to do whatever comes our way."

Kehler said there "was a lot of agreement" in the submissions she
received from councillors in the course of drafting the resolution.

The primary point of debate during Monday's meeting was the setting of
a gram possession limit for youth who could not legally possess
cannabis under the 19-year age proposal.

"I have trouble saying we've got an age that's legal, and that we're
going to allow those under age to possess five grams legally," Coun.
Mary Beil said. "I want a mechanism for small amounts to be
confiscated by the RCMP but that there would be no criminal record
(for the youth)."

"I don't want somebody 15 years old with a criminal record (for
cannabis possession) either," Lefebvre said.

Coun. Sue Powell reminded council that it was not setting bylaw but
simply passing its suggestions on to the province for consideration in
its eventual legislation.
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