CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – Residents of Campbell River interested in opening their own cannabis retail outlet should submit their paperwork to the province, according to a recent announcement from the city.

The municipal government will only process applications based on provincial referrals.

“With the federal government’s plan to legalize recreational cannabis this fall, we’ve already had phone calls from people who are interested in business licenses for retail sales,” says Development Services Manager, Kevin Brooks.

“Provincial referral must be initiated before the City is in a position to process any business applications.”

The City is also currently reviewing proposed changes to bylaws related to cannabis legalization.

According to Brooks, because of proposed changes to zoning, bylaw and business license regulations, there will be a limited number of locations available for future retail cannabis stores. Brooks also says the City will process applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

The provincial government began accepting applications on August 10th, but Campbell River hasn’t received referrals from the province yet.

Once the City receives a prospective business’s provincial referral for a non-medical cannabis license, the City will contact the business owner for additional requirements for a business license which needs to be submitted before Council considers the provincial referral.

The City will hold a public meeting and public hearing on September 24th for feedback on proposed changes.

Local legislation that need to be updated to accommodate changes include bylaws on zoning, business licensing, planning procedures, parks control and municipal smoking regulations.