The locations and operators of legal cannabis stores in Abbotsford should finally be confirmed this summer, nearly two years after recreational marijuana was legalized in Canada.
Prospective operators will have two months to submit applications to run one of four stores in Abbotsford, a new staff report to council says.
The city has spent a year developing a framework to guide the start of cannabis sales in Abbotsford. Ten sites – mostly in existing malls and shopping centres – have been pre-zoned to permit pot sales, but the city will support the opening of only four cannabis locations.
The city will begin to accept applications on Feb. 3, with a deadline set for April 3.
Staff will then screen those applications, provide a report to council outlining the various proposals “and seek direction to initiate the public input process,” according to the staff report.
If council gives the OK, the city will start to collect public feedback on the applications through mail-outs to neighbours, advertisements and a council hearing.
By summer, staff expect council to be able to make a decision on which proposals will be supported. The city would then notify the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, which also must approve each proposal.
Each application must include a site plan for each store, along with evidence that the operator already has the rights to use the location. Each applicant must also lay out a security program, outline their business experience, and declare that they aren’t already selling marijuana without a licence.
Applicants must also show how it may mitigate any impact on any nearby businesses, homes, and other places where children may be present.
To apply, each applicant must pay a fee of $7,500, which the city says will cover the cost of processing the proposals and making a decision. Proponents must pay the same amount to the province to obtain a licence.
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