The District of North Vancouver may be two meetings away from opening the marijuana bud-gates.
Council cleared one of their last procedural hurdles Tuesday evening with a 24-minute public hearing regarding pot shop bylaws.
“It’s been a long time coming and we’re very pleased it’s here,” said City of North Vancouver resident John McNally, one of two speakers to address council.
As the bylaw is written, future pot shops would operate between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., seven days a week. However, McNally requested cannabis stores keep the same hours as private liquor stores, which would allow them to close up at 11 p.m.
Council is tentatively slated to vote on their non-medical cannabis bylaw Nov. 18, with final adoption to follow at a subsequent meeting.
If passed, the district would allow one pot shop apiece in Maplewood, Lions Gate, Lynn Valley and Lynn Creek town centres. Businesses outside town centres could be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Cannabis outlets would need to be 200 metres from schools and would be limited to areas where liquor sales are permitted.
The district has received seven retail applications through B.C.’s Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch.
A cannabis licence application fee is $2,040 and the annual business licence fee is $5,000. There’s also a $1,785 public notification fee. Cannabis warehouses would be permitted in any area that allows warehouse use.
While he acknowledged concern over pot shop over-proliferation, Coun. Mathew Bond previously suggested council could consider more pot shops in the future.
Except in a case involving a residential neighbourhood, Coun. Lisa Muri has said she would generally waive public hearings for cannabis stores in retail, commercial and light industrial areas.