New Cannabis Retail Policy brings Whistler closer to store-bought cannabis

Publication Date: August 3, 2022

New Cannabis Retail Policy brings Whistler closer to store-bought cannabis

Policy aims to maintain Whistler’s character and experience, support Official Community Plan goals

Council has endorsed a Retail Cannabis Policy, taking the next step toward enabling retail cannabis by laying out a criteria to apply for a temporary use permit, as well as the intake, review and approvals process for applications.

Under the new policy, five locations have been identified as areas where this form of retail can be established—including Creekside, Function Junction, Nesters Plaza, the Village and Village North—providing access to the industry, but limits on its growth.

“We have spent a lot of time looking into whether cannabis retail can be a part of fulfilling our Official Community Plan policy that asks the RMOW to explore opportunities to incorporate Squamish Nation and Líl̓wat Nation-owned and operated businesses into the local business economy,” said Mayor Jack Crompton. “This kind of commitment to the economic component of reconciliation goes well beyond employment for Nation members, though that is good too.

“My hope and expectation is that anyone serious about applying to retail cannabis in Whistler, will look to the Líl̓wat or Squamish as business partners.”

Several bylaws will still require amendment before the application intake period is set, including Zoning and Parking Bylaw No. 303, 2015, which establishes the Temporary Use Permit (TUP) areas and the minimum buffering distances between cannabis retail stores and schools.  Other bylaws which will require amendments include the Land Use Procedures and Fees Bylaw No. 2019, 2012, Liquor Licence Application Processing Fee Bylaw No. 2224, 2019 and the Business Licence and Regulation Bylaw No. 2253, 2019. 

Once those bylaw amendments have been adopted, an intake period will be set for complete applications. Applications will be reviewed to determine how well they meet the objectives of the policy and advanced to Council.

This policy will enable the RMOW to oversee approval and monitoring of cannabis retail, while supporting the goals, objectives and policies of the OCP.

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