Burnaby set to vote on government monopoly of cannabis retail stores

Jul 31 2018, 9:52 pm

A July report put together by Lou Pelletier, Burnaby’s city director of planning and building, recommends a measured approach to cannabis retail that favours government-run stores over private ownership.

“Staff recommend focusing the initial phase of cannabis store implementation to government owned and operated cannabis stores, and zoning for such stores, a similar manner to liquor stores,” the report says. “Given that both liquor and cannabis are regulated and distributed in a comparable way by the Province.”

This plan would allow a total of four BC Cannabis Stores to open in Burnaby, one at each of its town centres.

According to the report, “this measured implementation of cannabis stores will allow the City to assess the impacts of such uses on surrounding neighbourhoods and ensure protection of the community, while ensuring local communities have reasonable access to legal cannabis products.”

In order to facilitate the opening of government-run shops, the zoning bylaw will need to be amended.

The report also proposes establishing a definition for private cannabis stores to distinguish them from general retail stores, “which are permitted more broadly.”

A public hearing with be held on August 28 for residents to weigh in on Burnaby’s plan for cannabis retail.

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