COMOX, B.C- Would-be legal marijuana retailers in Comox could face an initial hurdle from the town government.

The town is considering an amendment to their zoning bylaw which could see the exclusion of retail cannabis stores within the community, and a prohibition on retail sale of cannabis within “all zones in the Town of Comox”.

The town is planning an open house for April 4 at 7:00 p.m. on the proposal, over at the d’Esterre House.

Comox’s mayor Paul Ives described the plan as a “two step process”, with the ban allowing for the municipal government to consider retail proposals for cannabis sales on a site-specific basis.

“Many communities are adopting this approach, of closing the door initially to retail sales, once cannabis is legalized,” said Ives.

“But when we are being asked by proponents, retailers, to consider having stores, much like a liquor store I suppose, we want to make sure they’re done in the right place with the right configuration.”

According to Ives, the policy would allow the town to establish a “baseline” when it comes to cannabis sales, and then open up on an as-needed basis. He wanted to avoid a “Wild West” mentality.

“We know that the feds and the province have their regulations to deal with, and we are one of many local governments in BC that is going to deal with this issue,” said Ives.

“There are concerns in the community about what this means, and what it will look like. This way, we can have some control on it, and as we’ve dealt with many other applications, our planning staff work with proponents, and make sure that they meet our criteria for a community we’ve all come to enjoy.”

Residents of Comox can provide their feedback on the proposal at the open house, by emailing council, or by sending letters to Town Hall.