'History has been made': Kamloops approves B.C.'s first legal pot shop

With less than 24 hours until marijuana is legal in Canada, the only municipality in B.C. to have a legal pot shop has officially approved the store's licence.

Kamloops city council voted Tuesday on province's first legal marijuana dispensary

B.C.'s first provincially-approved cannabis store is in Kamloops. (Valérie Gamache/RDI)

With less than 24 hours until marijuana is legal in Canada, the only municipality in B.C. to have a legal pot shop has officially approved the store's licence.

The shop received its provincial approval in September, but Kamloops city council only voted on whether to grant the store its cannabis sales licence Tuesday afternoon. 

The approval for application retail cannabis sales licence CAN00001 passed unanimously. "History has been made," said Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian following the approval.

According to a council report, the store will be in the Columbia Place Shopping Centre and meets all zoning requirements set out by the city. The hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Crackdown not expected

Recreational cannabis will be legal as of Wednesday. B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said there are 173 dispensary applications pending approval in the province. Sixty-two of those applications have already been approved by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch and are now under review by local governments.

Enforcement of illegal shops is not expected once marijuana is legal though there is an expectation that many illegal dispensaries will comply with the law by obtaining a retail licence, or choosing to shut down. 

Marijuana will also be available on the province's online portal.

"We will have about 80 products for sale," said Farnworth. "We had hoped for broader selection but that will change over time." 

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