PIXABAY PHOTO                                District of Port Hardy passes first reading of cannabis zoning bylaw.

PIXABAY PHOTO District of Port Hardy passes first reading of cannabis zoning bylaw.

Port Hardy is gearing up for cannabis legalization

District passes first reading of a cannabis zoning bylaw

Port Hardy’s mayor and council are busy preparing for the federal legalization of cannabis.

Port Hardy Council is moving forward with a zoning bylaw amendment, which will set out regulations for cannabis retailers once it’s legalized.

At Port Hardy’s regular council meeting on May 22 council approved the first reading of bylaw no. 1080-2018, which will amend the current zoning bylaw no 1010-2013 to add new definitions and general regulations.

RELATED: District of Port Hardy lays out rules for cannabis retailers

“The first reading here is to get the subject on the table,” said Port Hardy Mayor Hank Bood, adding “this is what we propose our bylaw look like.”

Amended definitions include “Small Scale Urban Agriculture”, “Cannabis”, and “Cannabis Retailer.”

The general regulations in the bylaw permit Cannabis retailers in zones prescribed in the zoning regulation and are subject to certain conditions.

The bylaw states, “Cannabis retailers are subject to the following buffers: at least 100 metres from any playground or public library; at least 150 metres from any education service as defined in this regulation; and at least 150 metres away from any day car as defined in this regulation.”

The bylaw continues outlining that: “Cannabis retail stores shall not be combined with any other use in the same store; Cannabis retailers must follow all BC Building Code requirements; Cannabis retailers must hold a valid business license and follow all business license requirements; Cannabis retailers are not permitted to be in any residential zone; Cannabis retailers follow all applicable bylaws and regulations as other businesses in the district of Port Hardy.”

The bylaw also sets out regulations for measuring the buffer zones and sets out parking requirements for cannabis retail stores which must meet the “provisions of retail sales parking space requirements”.

Bylaw 1080-2018 comes after results from a cannabis dispensary survey were collected by the district, which requested the public’s input on locations, buffer zones from schools and daycares, accessory uses, business hours, the permitting process, and many other factors.

The survey was drafted by District of Port Hardy’s cannabis advisory committee, which was formed in August 2017 to discuss the future of cannabis in Port Hardy.

Bylaw 1080-2018 will have to pass second, third, and fourth reading before it can be adopted.

To read a full version of the bylaw click here.