City looks to crack down on pot dispensaries

By Vanessa Ybarra
December 2, 2017 - 11:06am

KAMLOOPS — The City of Kamloops is looking at making changes to its Business License and Regulation Bylaw in an effort to gain better control of pot dispensaries around the city.

Earlier this year the federal government announced its plan to legalize marijuana July 1 2018.

The city currently doesn't regulate the retail sale of non-medical cannabis or issue business licenses for dispensaries.

It says it isn't able to adopt zoning regulations for dispensaries until the province rolls out its plan for distribution and sale of non-medical pot which has for the most part been quiet.

The Development and Engineering Services Department says in order to avoid companies benefitting from non-conforming status once new provincial and municipal regulations are in place, they are recommending the following Business License and Regulation Bylaw changes be put into effect now:

  • Excluding cannabis-related busineses from catch-all definitions
  • Adding a 'Commercial Landlord' Business License' category. Property owners who lease property for commercial operations must obtain a business license and must not allow their property to be used for any unlicensed business operation.  The city says since most commercial leases allow landlords to terminate if a tenant fails to comply with any law, the license gives landlords more power to close down non-licensed establishments.
  • Increase fines for operating without a business license from $200 to up to $10-thousand based on the circumstance of the offence

City council will discuss the proposed changes at Tuesday's council meeting.

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