Nipping it in the bud in Colwood

Proposed Colwood bylaw prevents marijuana sales, City seeks public feedback

A potential City of Colwood bylaw could snuff out marijuana sales before they start.

In the face of potential federal changes legalizing recreational marijuana sales, the proposed bylaw, would prohibit the sale of marijuana unless licensed by Health Canada’s marijuana for medical purposes regulation or conducted by a licensed pharmacy.

“With all of the discussion about storefront marijuana dispensaries in Victoria, Colwood residents wanted to know how their city was going to handle the issue,” said Colwood Coun. Gordie Logan.

“The federal government has made their intentions clear, they plan on legalizing marijuana, however it isn’t legal yet. Council didn’t want to put staff and the RCMP in a difficult position, so it was important to make sure that the land-use regulations were consistent with current legislation.”

Colwood council had directed City staff to draft regulations pertaining to the law in response to questions from the community about the potential permissibility of storefront marijuana sales in Colwood.

A public hearing into the bylaw is scheduled for March 22 and the City’s new chief administrative officer, Ian Howat, is encouraging residents to be engaged.

“These changes would harmonize Colwood’s land-use regulations with current federal laws on the subject and provide certainty in advance of any changes the federal government chooses to make with respect to the Criminal Code,” said Howat. “Council would like, generally, to see greater input from the public in forming public policy.”

Howat said he doesn’t consider this particular bylaw any more or less significant that many of the other issues or topics council considers. Logan said he has no interest in seeing marijuana storefronts in Colwood at this time.

“Medical marijuana storefronts are popping up like weeds in Vancouver and Victoria, that’s not something Colwood is interested in,” he said.

The public hearing takes place Tuesday, March 22 at 6 p.m. at Colwood City Hall, 3300 Wishart Rd.

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

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