After getting direction from the provincial government, the City of Armstrong is moving along with plans for cannabis retail store licensing.
The plant becomes legal in B.C. Wednesday.
“Council has asked staff to present in November some sort of action plan which will include public hearing dates, probably before Christmas, to gather input on the retail sale of cannabis,” said Mayor Chris Pieper.
The province has announced that applicants can apply to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB), a $7,500 non-refundable application fee, and when such an application is made, Victoria will notify the local municipality as to where the proposed store will be located.
Once the city gets the notice, they will have several options.
“We can refuse it; we can put lots of conditions on the location, the hours of operation and we could also charge a fee for the application for the city,” said Pieper.
Refusing an application for a cannabis retail store licence would end the application in progress because the LCRB can’t issue a licence unless the local government gives the board a positive recommendation that the licence can be issued.
If the city is in favour, then it must gather the views of residents of the area where the store would be located, which could be done in writing or by a public hearing.
“It’s a real community input session on every single application that comes forward,” said Pieper.
If the city makes a recommendation to deny the application, then LCRB may not issue the licence. If the city is supportive, the LCRB still has discretion whether or not to issue the licence but must consider the city’s recommendation.