Whitehorse city council voted on July 23 to amend sections of the business license bylaw regarding the upcoming legalization of cannabis and the potential for retail locations to sell it in the future. (123RF.com)

Whitehorse council tweaks cannabis bylaws

If you were worried the city wouldn’t take a ‘proactive approach’ to regulating pot, you can relax

Whitehorse city council voted on July 23 to amend sections of the business license bylaw regarding the upcoming legalization of cannabis and the potential for retail locations to sell it in the future.

Changes include a new definition for those businesses. The term “retail services — restricted” will be added to the bylaw. A new section will also be added, outlining all the regulations that will apply to businesses selling cannabis.

These regulations include restrictions on the transfer of a business license, criminal record checks for owners and staff, regulations on signs, and restrictions on hours of operation.

“Administration is proposing these bylaw amendments as a proactive approach to the implementation of legalized cannabis,” reads the report presented to council by staff on July 3. “The intent of these amendments is to address public health, safety, and harm reduction, with a focus on protecting youth from negative health effects.”

Coun. Betty Irwin was the only councillor to vote against it, saying she objects to the approved business licensing fee of $2,000 for a cannabis retail location.

Council unanimously voted through an amendment to the controlled substance properties bylaw. The bylaw came into effect in 2006 after a number of people were found to be growing marijuana in homes. Currently, the controlled substances properties bylaw defines “grow operation” as cultivating marijuana, other controlled substances, and producing amphetamines.

The amendment will add new definitions for the term “cannabis.” It also redifines the term “grow operation” to mean any place home to the cultivation of “marijuana plants in a quantity that is not authorized by the Cannabis Act or the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations.”

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

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