PORT MCNEILL, B.C. – Cannabis sales are set to become legal on October 17th.

The Town of Port McNeill is getting prepared for the impending legalization.

At council’s September 4th meeting, the Cannabis Advisory Committee presented its recommendations to make that transition as smooth as possible.

The recommendations include:

1) That Port McNeill council allow the retail sales of non-medicinal cannabis within the Town of Port McNeill.

2) That Port McNeill council allow the retail sales of non-medicinal cannabis retail in only the Commercial 1 and Commercial 2 zones of the Port McNeill Zoning Bylaw.

3) That Port McNeill council provide an exception in the zoning bylaw for the property at 2161 McNeill Road to prohibit the retail sale of non-medicinal cannabis.

4) That Port McNeill council accept the store hours as provided by the provincial guidelines, which are 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

5) That Port McNeill council not make any changes to the Business Licensing Bylaw regarding non-medicinal cannabis retail businesses.

Following the discussion, council approved the committee’s recommendations.

“We are going to allow it within our C1 and C2 zoning, but it will be up to whether or not there’s any local people interested in opening up a cannabis retail outlet,” said Peter Nelson-Smith, the town’s Deputy Administrator.

He said there have been no applications received by the town yet. Nelson-Smith added his support behind the creation of the Cannabis Advisory Committee.

“The people that we are working with on that committee have been an amazing group of people, all bringing different perspectives to the group but doing it in a respectful and professional way,” he said.

“We’ve been able to move through this process quite quickly just because of the professionalism of the committee. It’s really something that’s helped the people of Port McNeill express their views for council and bring those views and recommendations to council.”

Nelson-Smith explained that the next step is to prepare draft zoning amendments to include definitions of cannabis and cannabis retail.

“We’ll start the zoning amendments course, you know going through the public consultation and our readings through council and any changes that council wishes to make before it’s hopefully and ultimately approved and out into action,” he said.

At the September 4th meeting, four members of council voted in favour of the committee’s recommendations.