Lake Country council approves of cannabis shops, but not near schools or daycares

Rezoning for pot shops at the town centre will be sent to a public hearing

While Lake Country district staff proposed the sale of recreational cannabis at two locations in Lake Country, only one will be available once legalization comes into place.

With new zoning amendments, Lake Country residents may see the sale of recreational cannabis in the town centre and at Turtle Bay Crossing, according to a report which was presented to council Tuesday night.

However, the amendments only allow shops to exist within one kilometre of each other and proposes a 400-metre barrier between a shop and an existing preschool or daycare.

Turtle Bay Crossing is currently within that 400-metre barrier of a daycare, which means the recreational sale of pot would not be permitted unless the daycare moves, said Jamie McEwan, community development manager with the district.

The daycare in the area is currently on a temporary-use permit, but “we do want to respect that it’s existing.”

Compass Cannabis Clinic, a marijuana access centre, is already open at Turtle Bay Crossing. If the daycare were to ever relocate, the clinic would not have to come through and get a rezoning permit, said McEwan, but “council has been pretty explicit with wanting buffers around daycares and schools so because there’s an existing daycare and that 400 metre buffer it’s honouring council’s wishes.”

“Stakeholder businesses have been consulted with respect to buffers, and agree that there should be buffers in place. These prospective businesses do not necessarily want to locate near each other, as their products and pricing are likely to be very similar. Geographic separation, therefore, not only preserves some community and social character but is likely to enhance the economic case for these businesses as well,” said the report.

Lake Country would be able to accommodate a maximum of three clinics, given council’s buffers, said McEwan.

If not defined, pot shops will be able to set up in multiple areas in the district including neighbourhoods, tourism sectors and medium density housing.

Federal legalization of cannabis is expected by the end of August.

The amendments were approved by district council Tuesday and will be forwarded to a public hearing.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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