Where and when pot shops might be able to open their doors in Kelowna – Okanagan

Aspiring pot shop owners are still waiting to find out the final rules around marijuana dispensaries in Kelowna, but city staff has made some initial recommendations.

Administration has recommended that no pot shops be allowed on Lawrence or Leon avenues between Bertram and Abbot streets.

“Certainly, it’s an area that we’re expecting a lot of redevelopment in the future,” Kelowna’s community planning manager Ryan Smith said.

“We’ve had a number of problems and complaints about different social service agencies operating in that area, and we’re just concerned that adding another element into the mix might add more concerns to the area.”

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City staff also recommend that marijuana retail stores are at least half a kilometre from a high school and 150 metres from an elementary school.

In addition, any business wanting to sell marijuana would need its location to be rezoned.

The city is expecting a flood of applications, so it plans to prioritize them based on several factors, including the business’s security plan, location and whether the applicant failed to comply with previous regulations specific to cannabis, according to a report.

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Businesses that were already established can apply like everybody else, Smith said.

“They may rank lower in our ranking matrix because they have a history of not following the city’s bylaws,” he added.

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It’s expected to take time to rezone properties, so the first retail marijuana stores will likely be able to open their doors in late spring, Smith said.

A public hearing will be held on Sept. 18 for anybody who still wants to give input.

Is Kelowna ready for legal marijuana?

Adults will be legally allowed to possess or share up to 30 grams of marijuana on Oct. 17.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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