Interested residents check out an information session on non-medical cannabis at the ACRD board office on Thursday, Aug. 16. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District considers cannabis use

Public will have say on new rules in September, before marijuana use becomes legal

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District is looking for feedback to help determine how they will regulate the sale and production of non-medical cannabis.

The ACRD held a public information session in Port Alberni on Thursday, Aug. 16 to provide information and also to hear feedback about non-medical cannabis, which will become legal across Canada on October 17 of this year. Another information session took place in Ucluelet on Monday, Aug. 20, and another is scheduled for Bamfield on Monday, Aug. 27.

The ACRD board of directors has already adopted a retail policy for non-medical cannabis, but a bylaw to regulate the production is still under consideration. The board gave first reading to Bylaw P1380 on July 25, based on a zoning amendment that is already in place for the production of medical cannabis.

If this bylaw is passed, non-medical cannabis production will be permitted in the small holdings district, the rural district and the forest rural district on properties that are a minimum of six acres. Facilities will also be permitted in the industrial park district on properties at least four acres in size. Buildings must be located a minimum of 100 feet from all lot lines, and retail sales are not permitted.

The regional district cannot prohibit production in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The ACRD will hold a public hearing on Monday, Sept. 17 to consider this bylaw and determine where production can occur. A bylaw must be in place by October 17, or the ACRD will have no way to regulate commercial cannabis.

Comment sheets for the public to provide feedback are available on the ACRD website and at the board office.

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