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West Vancouver May Allow Cannabis Retail

When cannabis was legalized, the District of West Vancouver was one of many municipalities across the country that decided against allowing cannabis retailers in their neighbourhoods. Now, however, West Van may be giving it a second thought.

In the original bylaw, passed in 2018, the municipality cited too little information in the form of policy or criteria to make a decision, so decided to play it safe and ban the sale of recreational cannabis until Council could see what other municipalities were doing. In the meantime, businesses that wanted to open in West Vancouver could apply for an individual rezoning—that way, the municipality could have full control.

Now, after two years of observation and an influx of inquiries and applications over the last few months, the District is receiving recommendations to develop a policy to help place retailers in the best spots. Three requests have already come in, including two for Ambleside and one for Horseshoe Bay.

In the process of creating this policy, the District has asked for the public’s opinion and launched an online survey that residents can fill out to let Council know how they feel about recreational cannabis retail in their neighbourhoods.

As it sits right now, the rules that Council is considering are similar to other municipalities, such as keeping stores over 100 metres from schools and keeping each storefront to a maximum of 8 metres. They are planning to only allow one cannabis store in each of the five neighbourhoods that West Vancouver encompasses.

The survey for residents is open until April 21, after which time the information will be compiled and Council says they will talk about it in May.