District of West Vancouver votes to allow cannabis stores to apply for business licences
Retailers can apply for business licences in 4 approved locations
The District of West Vancouver has approved a bylaw to allow cannabis stores to apply for business licences in the municipality.
While the federal government officially legalized recreational cannabis in 2018, municipalities have been developing their own policies to regulate its sale within city limits.
West Vancouver's interim policy, approved by council vote Monday evening, proposes to consider allowing a maximum of one store in each of the following town centres:
- Ambleside Village Centre
- Horseshoe Bay Village Centre
- Dundarave Village Centre
- Park Royal North
It also limits retail cannabis stores to a maximum of eight metres of store frontage and prohibits them from being located within 100-metres of an elementary or secondary school.
Monday's council vote also directed municipal staff to collect all cannabis retail applications received by June 30 and present them for council's consideration as a batch.
Retail stores have opened across the Lower Mainland in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, New Westminster, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Squamish, but the District of West Vancouver has not permitted them to open until now.
It's among several municipalities that still don't offer local access to legal cannabis.
Many in the industry have said the cannabis "access deserts" help the illicit market thrive.
The Township of Langley began accepting retail cannabis applications in April.
In Monday's meeting, West Vancouver staff indicated that they had already received at least five applications without a policy in place to review or approve them.
Municipal staff say they are working to update the cannabis westvancouverite webpage in the coming days with the requirements for submitting an application.