Regulations vary for cannabis retail stores

Okanagan communities have differing regulations in place

Summerland’s regulation governing cannabis retail stores are much more relaxed than those in Penticton.

In Summerland, cannabis retail outlets are allowed in the downtown area and at Summerfair Shopping Centre. In addition, stores are not allowed near schools or other places where children gather.

However, the regulations do not set out caps on the number of license applications in Summerland, nor do they stipulate how close one store may be from another.

READ ALSO: Petition urges limits on retail cannabis stores in Summerland

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In Penticton, the regulations state that a cannabis shop may not be closer than 300 metres from a school.

Stores in the downtown area must be no closer than 300 metres from another cannabis shop, and in areas where they are allowed outside of the downtown area, a store must be at least 750 metres away from another retail store.

Blake Laven, planning manager for the City of Penticton, said the city may be reviewing the regulations.

In Vernon, the city council has set a limit on the number of cannabis retail stores it will allow in the downtown area.

The bylaw, passed in late April, limits the number of stores in the downtown business improvement area to six.

The provincial Ministry of Attorney General grants the licenses for non-medical cannabis retail stores, but before the province provides a license, the local government or Indigenous nation for the area of the proposed store must give a positive recommendation tot he Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.

Local governments may set out regulations about where stores may be located in their communities.

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