In Victoria, Danielle Beznochuk (left) Brandon Arsens and Sacha Romeyn show off some of their cannabis products after doors opened at Cloud Nine Collective, on April 15. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Sidney considers bylaw change to allow weed shops

Town seeking residents’ views, business organizations stay silent on issue

As the law has changed, would you like to dip into a smoke shop on Beacon for some reefer or should Sidney be a marijuana-free retail experience?

Now is your chance to tell the Town what you think, as it is asking for residents’ views on a potential bylaw amendment, which would allow the sale of cannabis downtown and the manufacturing of cannabis products in the Sidney Business Park.

ALSO READ: Cannabis companies want to bring a new mood to the workplace

“Numerous parties have approached the Town on an informal basis to inquire about the potential for setting up a cannabis retail store,” says Corey Newcomb, senior manager of long range planning. “Following lengthy council discussions, it was decided that our zoning regulations would not exclude Beacon Avenue.”

The previous council adopted a bylaw in October prohibiting the “retail sale, production or distribution” of cannabis, while awaiting national legislation.

Since the legalization of the drug, the Town of Sidney is now checking with residents to see if a store would be acceptable. If it is, the Town will likely move ahead with the necessary zoning bylaw change.

Perhaps indicating the controversial nature of the proposal, despite business organizations calling for more creative thinking to stimulate main-street Sidney, no business group the News Review asked, including the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society, was willing to discuss the implications of the bylaw change on record.

ALSO READ: Cannabis medication provides relief for some pain and epilepsy sufferers

Supporters of the change say businesses should consider the benefits, with Sidney and Saanich thought to be the only two municipalities in the CRD considering similar changes, potentially stealing a march on their neighbours. The amendment would mean an application for rezoning would not be required to open a store.

“This could potentially make Sidney a more attractive location to open a cannabis retail location, as no rezoning requirement could potentially increase predictability and reduce timelines for potential businesses compared to other municipalities that do require rezonings, which I believe is most municipalities in the Capital Region,” says Newcomb.

Other potential positives for business would include the sale of non-psychoactive CBD products for pain relief, being adopted by growing numbers of seniors.

If the bylaw change went through and a store were to open, it would be expected to operate an “active storefront” in line with the Town’s aim to keep Beacon Av. visually attractive to shoppers. However, due to concerns regarding youth, Newcomb says the location and appearance of a store would be considered, such as proximity to schools. He notes that any new smoke shop would have to abide by provincial rules, such as not having cannabis products visible from the street.

ALSO READ: Cannabis industry leader says Saanich letting revenue go up in smoke

The proposed bylaw would not allow a cannabis store to open without council approval and the change would not affect access to medical cannabis.

A public hearing on the proposed bylaw is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. at Sidney town hall, in council chambers.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Business

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

Just Posted

Two Scout leaders found near Sooke

The pair went missing Sunday afternoon

UPDATED: Indigenous youth occupy B.C. Legislature steps amidst court injunction

Police negotiating with people gathered in support of some of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Crews respond to house fire in Langford Monday night

Fire near Glen Lake Road and Haslam Avenue

‘Not the monster everyone thinks’: Sister of human-trafficking suspect speaks out

Trish Kelly’s brother was one of four Vancouver Island residents arrested last month in Saskatchewan

Oak Bay ups deer management budget to $96,100 for 2020

Provincial grant approved for deer contraception program

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read