Cannabis Retail Coming Soon to Prince Rupert

Brittany Webster

Recreational use of cannabis has been legal across the country for nearly one month and retail stores are beginning to open. Although Prince Rupert does not have a shop yet, the city's Communications Manager Veronika Stewart says applications are underway.

"I believe there has been one so far, and we've just asked the LCRB, which is the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch to hang onto it until we've got our regulations in place and then they can send it to us for review. And they'll be considered in the order they are received."

Each municipality has their own regulations on selling the drug, and to open a store in Prince Rupert here is what you need to know.

Individuals must submit an application to city council with all necessary permits and public feedback. Applications require an initial fee of $5,000, must include a detailed security plan, and have written confirmation from the fire chief.

The city has proposed for cannabis retail stores to be permitted only in the downtown and Cow Bay areas. Each store must be 75 metres apart and will not allow use of the drug on site. Cannabis is available for purchase online, but local shops cannot provide online, delivery or drive-through sales.

The Cannabis Regulations info meeting held by the city of Prince Rupert was well attended and many community concerns were brought forward, from the affects on downtown parking and the number of retail locations possible, to pot stores within Rupert Square Mall and how the application fee will be used.

Council is considering public feedback up until the decision is made to pass the business licence bylaw amendment and any application policies.

Stewart says, "The next steps is we are going to have a public hearing about the zoning amendment bylaw that's proposed. And we are also going to have to update our business licence bylaw and implement a council policy for consideration of cannabis retail applications."

More information on Prince Rupert's cannabis regulations can be found on the city website.

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