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More public input needed on retail cannabis in Kent

The District of Kent will be holding another public hearing on Jan. 13

The District of Kent will be taking another look at its bylaws around retail cannabis sales, after council voted to hold another public hearing Monday (Nov. 25).

During the meeting, council voted to rescind second reading of the amendment to the zoning bylaw, which would have allowed one government-operated retail cannabis store in the district, along with other restrictions.

RELATED: Agassiz residents want pot shops, but not near schools

According to director of development services Darcey Kohuch, the district legally isn’t allowed to restrict the type of provider for pot shops.

“Even though the province says we can, we can’t legally regulate cannabis sales to specify the provider,” he said during council.

Staff recommended that the bylaw be amended to allow both private and government-owned retail cannabis stores in the district, rather than restricting it to only BC Cannabis Stores.

Even though the district can’t restrict the type of cannabis store that can operate in the community through a zoning bylaw, it can decide to not issue a business licence to a privately-owned pot shop — effectively allowing the District of Kent to limit the one approved cannabis store to a government-operated one.

During the first public hearing back in July, council decided not to give final approval to the bylaw amendments, as they wanted to restrict the location of the pot shop to the far east end of the Agassiz townsite.

RELATED: Still no decision on cannabis stores in Kent following public hearing

The bylaw amendments presented on Monday did not make any significant changes to where the retail store could be located — however, because Pivot Point Family Growth Centre has been approved for a property on the west side of the Agassiz townsite, any potential cannabis stores are effectively limited to the east end of Pioneer or Cheam Avenues.

RELATED: Autism counselling centre could be coming to Agassiz

The next public hearing, which will focus on the amendment around allowing both private and government-owned retail cannabis stores in the district, will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

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