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CVRD sets up public hearing on bylaw temporarily banning marijuana retail

COURTENAY, B.C- A public hearing on marijuana sales in the Comox Valley Regional District has been set up for later this month.

The CVRD is looking at taking the same approach as the Town of Comox on the matter, with an initial ban on retail sales, lifted on a case by case basis after legalization takes effect.

Alana Mullaly, the Manager of Planning Services at the CVRD, previously stated that the CVRD was following “general legal advice” for municipal governments to go with a closed-door approach for marijuana sales, until the community has time to “digest” the legislation from the federal government.

Mullaly indicated that the bylaw will not equal a permanent ban, with room for producers to apply.

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“In the interim, if we had a producer or distributor come forward, and they wanted to site something, once the legislation has passed and it’s lawful, then they would be looking at a site-specific, either a rezoning application or an application for a temporary use permit,” said Mullaly, speaking with in May.

“On the path that we’re on now, first and second reading, that would prohibit right across the board, for non-medical marijuana. I expect that we’ll have a much more fulsome conversation with the directors and with the public in the fall and into early winter.”

As for the possibility of a permanent ban, Mullaly indicated that the bylaw would put zoning in place for that to happen.

However, she said that she didn’t get the sense that the community was in favour of a ban, with the approach being taken currently allowing the CVRD to figure out what is wanted.

The CVRD’s plan for retail sales has not yet been passed by it’s board of directors, and a public hearing has been set for June 28th at the district’s board offices to get the views of the public on the matter.

The hearing will be led by CVRD board chair Bruce Jolliffe, and will take place at 6:00 p.m.

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