Will cannabis stores ever set up shop in Delta?

It remains to be seen if, or where, cannabis stores will open in Delta.

With federal legalization of cannabis set for Oct. 17, the city has already made amendments to its zoning bylaw to ensure someone can’t open up a marijuana dispensary.

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The amendments include a prohibition of retail sales of medical and non-medical cannabis in all zones.

The province has given local governments zoning control over marijuana dispensaries, a move supported by Delta.

The latest staff report on provincial cannabis regulations notes Delta’s position is that local governments “may regulate the number of stores within their boundaries, and may prohibit them all together.”

Meanwhile, the term “medical marijuana” was removed from the old zoning regulations, replaced by the word “cannabis” which will apply to both medicinal and non-therapeutic pot.  The updated bylaw means anyone wanting to set up shop to sell weed would have to go to council for rezoning. The same would apply to any government store that sells the product.

The planning department notes the city supports a public retail system where cannabis is sold through stand-alone government-operated outlets and through an online ordering service. However, Delta does not support the private sale of cannabis.

A couple of years ago the city moved swiftly against a dispenary that tried to set up shop in North Delta.

The City of Vancouver last week created a new designation in its zoning to change the term “Medical Marijuana Related Use” to “Cannabis Store.” Also in Vancouver, only licensed cannabis retail stores will be where federally approved non-medical marijuana can be purchased legally. Those operators, who can be private stores, must have a provincial cannabis retail outlet business licence.


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