A public hearing regarding marijuana sales is set to take place in Mission on Oct. 21.
Council has granted first and second reading to proposed bylaw amendments that would permit the sale of retail cannabis in certain commercial zoning areas, subject to spacial restrictions (250 metres) from schools and other cannabis outlets.
Coun. Jag Gill questioned the suggested requirement for a 250-metre buffer.
He asked his fellow councillors and district staff why they are treating cannabis totally different from liquor stores.
“Cannabis is legal, so let’s treat it as legal,” Gill said.
Coun. Mark Davies voiced support for Gill’s comments, but the rest of council felt differently.
Coun. Danny Plecas said he is concerned that children will be curious about cannabis and feels parents have an expectation that their kids will be protected.
Coun. Carol Hamilton said she concurs with Plecas, noting there is a perception about marijuana, and she feels it is something council needs to pay more attention to.
Coun. Ken Herar called it a “tough decision” but supports the buffer, while Coun. Cal Crawford said he believes in erring on the side of caution.
Mayor Pam Alexis said they should hear from the public before making any changes to the proposed bylaw regarding the buffer.
“I’d like to actually go to public hearing and see what the people have to say,” she said.
Council did agree to the proposal that all application fees already paid by any private business group to establish a retail cannabis store be returned, and that any such applicant be directed to re-apply through the appropriate application procedure once the process has been established.
The public hearing takes place at the municipal hall (8645 Stave Lake St.) on Monday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. as part of the regular council meeting.