Sooke cannabis shops continue to operate without licenses while regulations remain hazy. (Creative Commons Photo)

Sooke staff report does little to lift haze on pot shops

Businesses still operating without licences

A more than 3,000-word staff report presented to Sooke council has done little to clear the smoke surrounding the fate of the three retail cannabis operations in Sooke.

The report said that applications for all three have been received by the provincial Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) but said nothing about when those applications will be processed.

RELATED: Regulations hazy

Prior to the issuance of any licences the local municipality has the responsibility to decide if they want to make a recommendation on an application, according to rules set out by the province. Should they choose not to make a recommendation, their silence is taken as a rejection and the applicants will not be issued a cannabis retail license.

But a local government cannot, it seems, just make (or not make) a recommendation in the absence of input from residents.

Provincial guidelines stipulate that public input is required and can be an be expressed through written comments, a public hearing, a referendum or another “method the local government considers appropriate.”

“The final point leaves some uncertainty over what form of engagement satisfies the provincial requirement, and when it can take place,” the report stated.

Another aspect of the staff report that left some councillors scratching their heads was the revelation that “the business licence inspector has requested that the LCRB conduct their ‘fit and proper’ assessment prior to the District of Sooke making comments or approving the licence. Once the ‘fit and proper’ assessments are complete, the LCRB will be checking back with the district.”

There was no clarification on what a fit and proper assessment entails. Nor is there any timeline attached to that assessment.

Coun. Brenda Parkinson said she is frustrated by what she read in the report.

“The (provincial) government hasn’t put everything in place that we need and I think they need to finalize what they’re doing,” she said.

Parkinson added that she’s been told that some cannabis retailers in Victoria were told to close down until their licences were approved or face the possibility of being denied a license by virtue of their having stayed open.

RELATED: 19 pending applications

“Meanwhile, the retailers in Sooke are telling us that the government has told them they could keep operating,” said Parkinson.

“It’s like no one knows what’s going on.”

After a lengthy discussion at council, it was decided to receive the report as information and to direct staff to begin the public engagement process to receive input for policy and bylaw review in relation to cannabis for recreational purposes.

Meanwhile, the Sooke retail outlets continue to operate.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

SD63 strike officially ends with union’s vote to accept agreement

More than 7,000 Saanich and Peninsula students back to school Monday

Outrigger canoe teams race over two days to raise money for men’s health initiatives

WetDashe for men’s health highlights benefits of year-round sport on the West Coast

Heritage Haunted House rakes in more than $10,000 to help fill children’s dreams

Spooky fundrasier has been scaring community for 13 years

Investigate the paranormal at Point Ellice House this December

Museum hosting ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’ event

Northbound lanes re-open along Malahat after small rockslide near Goldstream

Drivers asked to use caution, clean-up crews have finished on-site

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Most Read