Brandon Wright, chief executive officer and general manager of Baked Edibles, grew up in Saanich. He is currently looking for a suitable location in the area to build a processing facility for edible cannabis products. He hopes Saanich will work with industry in predicting that the municipality will eventually abandon its current prohibitive approach towards cannabis retail, production and processing. (Wolf Depner/News staff)

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes sees plenty of opportunity in cannabis industry

Haynes wonders why Saanich would not make a legal product available to residents

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes signalled strong support for the recreational cannabis industry as an economic opportunity.

“We [Saanich] are 30 per cent of the [regional] population, so we are 30 per cent of the market,” he said. “This is a huge economic opportunity.”

Former senior politicians are joining the boards of companies in the recreational cannabis industry around the world, and the Canadian federal government is actively supporting the industry, he said, pointing to Ottawa’s financial commitment towards First Nations to help them enter the economy.

“As a municipality, it is incumbent on us to make sure that Saanich isn’t missing out,” he said. “Why would we miss out on an economic opportunity, where businesses can open up in Saanich to sell their products to our residents, but more importantly, the production and manufacture of high quality recreational and medical product that is legal?”

RELATED: Cannabis plant sets sights on Saanich

RELATED: Update: Saanich puts lid on future pot sales for now

Haynes made these comments as the public awaits Saanich’s approach towards the legalization of recreational cannabis.

Saanich council issued a “full” prohibition on the sale, production and distribution of recreational cannabis in late May of this year, because of what staff called a “[lack] of detailed information” from federal and provincial officials. “This is a fast-moving and evolving issue and information continues to be released,” said Sharon Hvozdanski, Saanich’s director of planning in the report.

In fact, staff were still working at the time under the assumption that cannabis would become legal in the late summer of 2018. But it was not until Oct. 17 that recreational cannabis became legal.

“Now it is legal, staff are working on bringing that report back to Saanich [council] to decide,” said Haynes.

RELATED: City of Victoria passes new cannabis retail bylaw

Other communities, notably Victoria, have recently updated cannabis retail bylaws. Victoria will also eventually consider at least six applications for marijuana retail businesses.

As of Dec. 17, the provincial government has received 365 applications for marijuana retail businesses. Of those, 209 applications have gone to local government or Indigenous Nation for comment. Three businesses — all located in the Interior and northern B.C. — have received licenses.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

District of Saanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Woman arrested for hit and run that left another vehicle in Colwood front lawn

The woman was issued a 24 hour driving prohibition and a ticket

Sooke jumps on board to ban use of rat poison

City staff will educate residents on harmful effects of rodenticides

VicPD looking for 17-year-old girl, believed to be in downtown Victoria

Circumstance under which she has gone missing are considered to be high-risk

New urgent, primary care health centre opens in Saanich come November

North Quadra area facility to provide same-day, ongoing care for folks without family doctors

McKenzie interchange project drives towards completion

Motorists asked to continue following construction zone signage as crews will be on site into the fall

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

Ki Yun Jo was killed after Mitchell Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

One person dead in two-vehicle accident in North Island

Highway 19A was closed for several hours north of Courtenay following the crash

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Most Read