Port Alberni to talk pot at committee of the whole meeting

Port Alberni does not currently permit retail cannabis businesses

Kimberley, B.C. made headlines last week as it became the first community in the province to grant business licenses to two retail marijuana dispensaries. The City of Port Alberni, however, will be waiting at least another couple of weeks to go through the cannabis licensing process.

READ: B.C. pot shop owner says cannabis licensing process wasn’t easy

Port Alberni’s new city council will be discussing cannabis regulations and bylaws at a committee of the whole meeting later this month. The previous council directed that a COTW meeting be planned for Monday, Nov. 19 at 4 p.m., where the community will be able to provide input to council.

While the city does have a business license process for the sale of medical marijuana, it does not currently permit retail cannabis businesses. Two Port Alberni dispensaries were raided by RCMP on Oct. 17 when they were open and operating without the new BC provincial license.

READ: Two Port Alberni cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

The provincial government is currently accepting applications for provincial retail cannabis licenses. If a business applies, the province will contact the applicable municipality and request municipal approval of the site location.

According to City CAO Tim Pley, the city has received one referral from the provincial government so far, but the city is unable to provide input without bylaw provisions. He did not name the applicant.

“We’re in the possession of one,” he said. “There’s no action being taken until direction is given by council.”

At least two dispensaries have said they have paid $7,500 each to apply for a provincial licence: Port Alberni Cannabis Club and Leaf Compassion.

For more information on B.C. cannabis regulations, see the city’s website at www.portalberni.ca.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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