Only four legal marijuana stores will be allowed to operate in Abbotsford and they won’t be opening for months if council go along with proposed rules drafted by staff.
City of Abbotsford staff have put together a draft of rules that will lay out how legal pot stores can operate. They have also found 13 potential sites that could be “pre-zoned” to allow such stores.
Staff’s recommendations, which will be presented to council on Monday, is included in the agenda for that meeting.
Staff are proposing the city adopt a policy that would allow four stores to operate at sites spread across the city – rather than concentrated in a single area. The 13 potential sites are generally strip malls and shopping centres. Staff write that the initial cap on pot stores reflected a “measured” and “gradual” approach. Their report does not suggest when the number of stores might be increased.
Before the rules are voted on by council, staff would present to the public for comment and review through open houses and online surveys.
Applications to operate a shop would be reviewed at the same time, rather than on a case-by-case, or first-come-first serve basis
“The benefit of this approach is that Council is able to evaluate and compare the applications, and make a decision on preferred stores for the entire city,” staff write in the report.
The final policy and approval of sites wouldn’t take place until the fall. Would-be store operators would only get to apply after that step, meaning no legal pot stores are likely to be in operation until winter – at the earliest.