TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO                                After a lengthy process, Port McNeill mayor and council approved recreational cannabis shops inside the town’s jurisdiction.

TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO After a lengthy process, Port McNeill mayor and council approved recreational cannabis shops inside the town’s jurisdiction.

Port McNeill council approves recreational cannabis shops inside the town’s jurisdiction

“Council has decided to go with the recommendations from the Cannabis Committee”

After a lengthy process, Port McNeill council passed a bylaw that will allow recreational cannabis shops to operate inside the town’s jurisdiction.

“Council has decided to go with the recommendations from the Cannabis Committee to allow the retail sale of recreational cannabis within Port McNeill,” stated Mayor Gaby Wickstrom when asked to comment. “To date we have not had any applications come forward to us. Given that the federal government currently has some backlog meeting demand, I suspect entrepreneurs may decide to defer opening until a wider range of products are more readily available. Council feels the public consultation process and guidelines required by the Provincial government prior to licensing approval should help alleviate fears around where a future shop(s) might be located.”

Back in July of 2018, the Town of Port McNeill passed a bylaw that would temporarily ban recreational cannabis retail inside the town’s jurisdiction until they were able to form a marijuana committee that would help shed some more light on the subject.

The cannabis committee formed in August and held numerous meetings where they talked about subjects such as zoning amendments, business licensing bylaws, nuisance bylaws, health and safety, building recommendations, and other considerations.

The committee’s recommendations to council were listed as such:

1. That Port McNeill council allow the retail sales of non-medicinal cannabis within the Town of Port McNeill;

2. That Port McNeill council allow the retail sales of non-medicinal cannabis retail in only the Commercial 1 and Commercial 2 zones of the Port McNeill Zoning Bylaw;

3. That Port McNeill council provide an exception in the zoning bylaw for the property at 2161 McNeill Road to prohibit the retail sale of non-medicinal cannabis;

4. That Port McNeill council accept the store hours as provided by the provincial guidelines, which are 8:00 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and

5. That Port McNeill council not make any changes to the Business Licensing Bylaw regarding non-medicinal cannabis retail businesses.

Council approved these recommendations and the previous bylaw banning recreational cannabis sales inside the town was later repealed.