Telkwa council has instructed village staff to research cannabis retail licensing and plans on having a public consultation on the topic.
Recreational consumption of cannabis and cannabis products will be legal on Oct. 17.
Municipalities have the power to dictate where recreational cannabis retails can be located; business licensing conditions such as operating hours; and public consumption.
Municipalities also have the option of not allowing cannabis retail locations at all but it doesn’t appear council will take that route.
“I think it’s a more a question of where’s it done and how it’s done is what weighs on my mind,” Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen said when council last met.
“Obviously we don’t want to have anything in our school zone or anything that is going to compromise the safety or integrity of the community.”
Telkwa has already decided to treat public consumption of cannabis like alcohol — meaning it will be illegal to consume cannabis or cannabis products in a public setting unless there is a special designation from the village that allows it.
Repen said council must move quickly on this issue as they don’t want to create a potential roadblock for anyone interested in setting up a retail cannabis business in the village.
Repen and other councilors noted the current council only has barely two months left in their term with local elections taking place Oct. 20 and may not be able to get a bylaw passed in time and wondered if this issue should be handled by the newly elected council in the fall.
But council decided if they can’t pass bylaws on the issue they could at least lay the groundwork for bylaws to be enacted whenever the new council chooses.
Plow truck wanted
Council also ordered village staff to look into whether Telkwa can purchase a new plow truck and crew operations vehicle by dipping into its own reserves, and repay the funds at current bank interest rates, or by taking a loan.
The plow truck will be a used vehicle and will cost $50,000. The crew operations vehicle, also used, will cost $15,000.
The total cost for both vehicles will be $65,000. If councils decides to take a loan the village will be paying $14,200 a year for five years.
“I’m pretty optimistic that we’ll be able to make that purchase without having any impact on our taxation,” Repen said.