Pot shops could be legal in Lake Country by next week

Council will be considering adopting bylaws that will allow cannabis shops to operate

As pot shops may soon be legal in the District of Lake Country, staffers are getting inquiries about its approval every day, says the district’s community development manager.

Lake Country council will consider adopting a zoning amendment bylaw and business licencing bylaw during Tuesday night’s regular council meeting that will make recreational cannabis shops legal in the district.

If approved, cannabis dispensaries cannot be located within 400 metres of a school or daycare.

A previous version of the bylaw limited cannabis shops to a one-kilometre distance apart from each other, but council removed the buffer during a previous meeting, allowing shops to be located side-by-side. The bylaws allow pot shop operation at the Turtle Bay Crossing Complex and in the Town Centre.

READ MORE: Lake Country pot shops can be placed side by side

Compass Cannabis Clinic, a medical cannabis facility at the Turtle Bay complex will not be able to operate as a recreational cannabis facility in the district without a variance if the bylaws are approved, due to its proximity to a daycare, said community development manager Jamie McEwan.

With the buffer, an estimated three shops could be located in the district. With the buffer’s removal, there is no estimated number of how many can operate in the district, McEwan said.

“The opportunities are vast with no buffer between them,” he said.

Cannabis production will also be permitted within the A1, Agriculture 1 Zone, as long as it is approved in the Agricultural Land Reserve, and a development’s footprint is limited to 3,035 square meters and can’t be located within 400 m of any daycare or school, according to documents which will be presented to council next week.

If approved, Lake Country will be the first community to legalize the shops in the Central Okanagan.

Legalization at the federal level is set for Oct. 17.

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