The Village of Cache Creek will soon be starting the process of updating the municipality’s regulations and legislation surrounding cannabis sales, use, and cultivation, and is now seeking input from residents and businesses to help guide and shape the cannabis regulatory framework.
The municipal framework will allow the Village to regulate the industry at a local level, and provide opportunities for legal cannabis businesses should the community be supportive.
Chief Administrative Officer Martin Dalsin says that the Village receives one or two inquiries every month about whether or not they allow cannabis activities. “Almost all the inquiries are about retail sales shops in Cache Creek,” he says, adding that selling or growing cannabis within the Village is “not a permitted use at the moment, period. If it’s not specifically itemized in the zoning bylaw, you can’t do it.”
The Village is now looking at updating its legislation to allow these uses, provided there is community support. A grant from Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) has enabled Cache Creek to hire a consultant with expertise in the area of cannabis and hemp businesses, who will guide council in the decision-making process. New and amended legislation would allow the Village to regulate businesses and give the Village more authority to enforce cannabis regulations.
Dalsin says that the rules around consumption of cannabis products could be similar to tobacco-smoking regulations: “You have to stay a certain distance from doorways and air intakes, etc. It’s up to us and residents and businesses to make it more restrictive [if we want] and say it’s not available in any public areas at all.”
He adds that the Village has to follow all provincial and federal legislation regarding cannabis. “However, my understanding is that we can’t be less restrictive [than that legislation] but we can be more restrictive.”
Because of the terms of the NDIT grant, the consultant’s work has to be completed by the end of December. A survey for residents and businesses is now available on the Village’s website (http://www.village.cachecreek.bc.ca/) and the Cache Creek-Info Facebook page. It can also be accessed at www.surveymonkey.com/r/cachecreek, and paper copies are available at the Village office. Additionally, business owners who have completed the survey and would like to share their thoughts in more detail can call the Village office at (250) 457-6237 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an in-person interview.
The amended bylaws will go before council once the consultant’s work is finished. “There is nothing to specify when they get adopted. The adoption of bylaws schedule is up to council. But we want to go full bore on this, and get business and resident input.”