Friday, May 15, 2020

City Council puts pause on endorsement of Cannabis Association letter

Prince Rupert Council members will be looking for a little clarification on some of the elements of a letter from the Association of  Canadian Cannabis Retailers.

The Association had been looking for some endorsement support from the City towards a letter to the provincial government to allow for online shopping and delivery options for the commercial cannabis operators of BC.

The document was included for review as part of the Monday Agenda package for the City's Councillors.

A letter to Prince Rupert Council seeking an endorsement
of a request for relaxation of measures for Cannabis retailers

(Click to enlarge)

Council members had a number of concerns about some of the elements of the letter, particularly seeking more clarity as to whether the goals for the Association are long term or just as a response to the current COVID-19 emergency.

Councillor Wade Niesh led off the discussion, first raising the question as to whether the request is a permanent or temporary plan, Mayor Brain noted that he wasn't sure if the letter is indicating a short term response or if it's a wider plan.

Mr. Niesh followed up with some hesitation towards further review before endorsing what may be a permanent proposal.

"I think it originally it was set up, the rules were set up in not having delivery and stuff, so to me I wouldn't have a problem with supporting it you know for the short term as far as until they come up with you know some rules or whatever, but as far as permanently doing it, I think it needs to be thought before accepting it, so maybe we could put that in our letter." -- Councillor Wade Niesh

Councillors Adey and Cunningham both concurred with the view of Mr. Niesh.

Councillor Adey noted that people can order material online and this would level the field for retailers somewhat, though he did agree with Councillor Niesh a bit, observing that when the Council  approved the local retail locations it was as an on site business and it was some pretty careful control put in place.

"So I guess I would feel like I would need to know more ...  from the people who are wanting us to endorse the letter, I would need to know about what their reasoning is and I agree with Councillor Niesh, I would like to know if they see this thing as a temporary thing or a permanent. Because they are using the COVID Crisis is very prominent in their reasoning,  so I guess I don't feel like I know enough about it to support it"-- Councillor Nick Adey

For his part Councillor Cunningham also noted of the controls that the city put in place and expressed some hesitation on an online aspect for local operations, adding that he too would like more information.

The Councillors and Mayor chose to table the request, they will re-evaluate the subject once they have received some further information from the Association.

You can review the conversation on the Cannabis Association request from the City's Video Archive starting at the four and a half minute mark.

More notes related to Monday's Council Session can be found from Council Timeline Feature.

A wider overview of Cannabis themes in Prince Rupert is available from our archive page here.

More items of interest on Council Discussion themes can be reviewed here.

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