Editorial: Council shows forward thinking on cannabis

Kudos to council and the village’s staff on their foresight to put in a framework for cannabis.

Since the announcement that Trudeau’s government was going to legalize cannabis municipalities have been wading through how to handle the spin off effects.

Keremeos council started discussions early on the topic. What was wonderful to see is that councillors didn’t waste time discussing the morality of legalizing cannabis, but rather got down to business figuring out where they didn’t want to see stores or whether a production facility was something the community wanted.

In the early days of discussions one thing was clear – that council didn’t want to see multiple stores within its limits as more than one in such a small population could give the impression that Keremeos was now the pot store capital of Canada opposed to the fruit stand capital.

So a bylaw was put in place that would mean only one cannabis store could be opened within the village limits.

By having the bylaw in place it signalled to potential pot store owners that Keremeos was ready to have a legal cannabis retail store.

It didn’t take long for a Vancouver based company to secure a location and put in an application.

Since then the community has been a buzz with a lot of positive feedback about the potential a store would open. It isn’t just users of cannabis that are happy about a store opening but people that realize a store in the downtown could be a draw for people to stop and go to other businesses – perhaps picking up a coffee or stopping for a bite to eat or shopping at our local grocery store.

Recently council commented in favour of a provincial pot store application for a store that if approved would open downtown next to the liquor store. This will bring permanent jobs to our community and it will give tourists a reason to stop in addition to the obvious benefit of people having access to legal cannabis.

Throughout the process council and staff have stayed informed and looked at the bigger picture opposed to wasting time debating legalization. Their approach means Keremeos will most likely have a cannabis store open before many other nearby larger communities.

Great work!

-T.B.

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