The District of Highlands has come up with new regulations for the sale and production of pot. (Black Press file photo)

District of Highlands moves forward with pot regulations

Bylaw prohibits production, sale of pot

The District of Highlands has come up with new regulations for the sale and production of pot.

During a council meeting earlier this week, mayor and councillors gave first and second reading to a draft bylaw that would automatically prohibit cannabis production, sales and medical cannabis production throughout the municipality, unless a rezoning application is submitted and approved.

“It’s the most prudent and flexible for the municipality at this point,” Mayor Ken Williams said.

“We’re waiting on the province to come to their final laws. It’s a complex initiative. It requires a co-ordinated, cohesive response from all orders of government.”

RELATED: B.C. legislates recreational marijuana sales

Last month the province announced the age limit for buying recreational marijuana in B.C. will be 19, and the province’s Liquor Distribution Branch will control wholesale distribution of cannabis products for sale. Retail sales will be limited to a maximum 30 grams, which is the possession limit for adults in any public place.

It also established a new impaired driving regulation, giving police authority to impose a 90-day driving suspension for drug-impaired driving.

RELATED: Pot and vape smoke now face same regulations as tobacco in CRD

In April, the Capital Regional District amended its clean air bylaw to prohibit people from smoking cannabis or vaping in any public place, building or structure, in any area where food and drinks are served, within seven metres of any door, window air intake, bus stop, or at any athletic parks, fields or playgrounds.

Locally, municipalities will continue to have authority over public safety, land use and business licensing.

While the Highlands has had discussions in the past about the use of medical marijuana, this is the first bylaw related to the recreational use of cannabis.

The District’s concern is that a marijuana-related business could set up shop before provincial legislation is enacted, and would be considered “non-conforming” and therefore would be allowed to continue without District approval.

“Say in an urban centre if a municipality didn’t have a zoning bylaw someone, on the basis of the federal law, could set up shop and would be non-conforming since there are no laws,” Williams said.

“It [the bylaw] gives everyone time and breathing room to get it right.”

The bylaw is consistent with bylaws that other municipalities around the region, such as Victoria, have passed.

The District will host a public hearing on the regulations, where residents can give input on the bylaw on Monday, June 4.

– With files from Tom Fletcher

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Belmont athletes help clinch rugby bronze at Youth Olympic Games

Canadians edge out Colombia in bronze medal game, 24-19

Tennis bubble grand opening at Bear Mountain

Work on the dome started last spring

Challengers topple incumbents in several South Island races

2018 civic election ushers in new faces across the CRD

Victoria and Saanich voters elect to move ahead with amalgamation talks

Victoria and Saanich voters have chosen to move ahead with exploring amalgamation… Continue reading

WATCH: Twelve Angry Jurors puts a new spin on an old tale

Canadian College of Performing Arts opens season with reworked version of Reginald Rose teleplay

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for Oct. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

GUEST COLUMN: B.C.’s proportional representation vote is dishonest, misleading

Veteran of 2005 Citizens’ Assembly urges rejection of new voting systems

Most Read