CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – The City of Campbell River has set a $200 fine for smoking pot in public.

The city amended bylaws around park control and smoking regulations to include smoking recreational marijuana in public as punishable by a fine.

If someone carries or burns cannabis in a public area where they are not allowed, they risk a $200 fine.

According to the city’s director of planning and bylaw enforcement manager Peter Wipper, smoking pot in parks, streets, and other public property.

“You’d only be permitted to smoke cannabis on private property,” Wipper said.

He said the police and bylaw enforcement officers will be implementing the fines.

“They (officers) wouldn’t actually do proactive patrols, but if they receive any complaints, then they would respond.”

The amended bylaws also state that retailers cannot set up shops within 300 metres of a school or within 300 metres of another cannabis shop.

Those who violate the 300-metre buffer could be fined $500 per day.

Wipper added that the City of Campbell River is not the actual licensing authority. He said that those interested in becoming recreational cannabis retailers must submit their applications to Victoria.

The provincial government will process the application and send their recommendations to the city.

“At this point, we have received referrals from the province for three cannabis stores. Two in Campbellton and one in Willow Point. Once staff have completed their review, then they’ll bring forward a report to city council and they’ll recommend whether or not the city should or should not support the application.”

He said that at the end of the day, it’s still the provincial government that decides whether a retailer will be licensed or not.

Wipper said they are not sure when the retailers will be open, but he says they may be able to bring a report to the council by this month.