Blake Laven, City of Penticton planning manager, delivers the opening keynote at the sneak peek of the Cannabis Unconference at Orchard House on Dec. 6. The full conference is planned for Spring 2019. Jordyn Thomson/Western News

Cannabis conference planned for spring

City planning manager addresses cannabis unconference

The City of Penticton’s city planning manager, Blake Laven, delivered the opening keynote at the one-day sneak peek of the Cannabis Unconference at Orchard House on Dec. 6.

Laven outlined federal, provincial and municipal regulations regarding cannabis and the steps Penticton took in developing its current policy. He noted that the province “remains the authority over licencing” of cannabis retail outlets and the city only recently developed this policy, which includes “dealing with referrals it receives from the province.”

“Everything that we do at the local government, we do based on policies or bylaws that are adopted and given direction by our council,” said Laven. “So because we didn’t have any way to deal with these referrals coming from the province, we were tasked for creating a system to deal with these, what we call our local framework.”

Laven said city staff started the process of creating this framework on this “politicized topic” with public engagement. He noted that city staff went out into the community on April 20, 2018, a significant day in cannabis culture, to talk with citizens about how and if they’d like to see cannabis retail outlets in their community.

Laven noted that some of the current municipal regulations affecting cannabis retailers may be changed later, saying that city council wanted to proceed with caution with its first stores before scaling back limitations.

One attendee noted concerns with the accessibility of smoking cannabis for those who reside on rental properties, saying she was evicted from her previous residence in Kelowna for smoking medicinal marijuana off of her back porch. She asked where a renter would then be able to smoke since its use is not permitted in public spaces or vehicles and there are currently no cannabis lounges in the area.

“Our approach when we say no public consumption, I think we’ve always said that bylaws are there to establish expectations for the rest of the public,” said Laven.

Another attendee asked if, during the public engagement, citizens showed interest in or concerns about the opening of cannabis lounges within the city. Laven noted the city “has not approached that” although they did hear from citizens who were also concerned they would not have a place to legally consume the substance.

The full Cannabis Unconference is expected to take place in spring 2019.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Like many in British Columbia, you may be worried about running into… Continue reading

Almost 20,000 parking tickets issued by Interior Health at hospitals in 2019

In 2018, pay parking in Interior Health hospitals totalled $5.3 million of their $2.2-billion budget

NHL prospects returning to Penticton for Young Stars Classic

After a one-year absence the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Classic is returning… Continue reading

UPDATE: Australia wildfire event in Penticton cancelled

Mike Bridson has been fighting the fires in Australia, and returns to help more later this month

South Okanagan swimmers and coach off to Euro 2020 in Belgium

Three members of the KISU Swim Club are headed to Belgium to compete in the Euro 2020 meet

VIDEO: Trudeau insists Iran respect families’ wishes when it comes to burials

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 were killed

Jagmeet Singh says NDP caucus will discuss whether to support new NAFTA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said steps to ratify the new NAFTA are top of mind

Handmade shelters help house Salmon Arm’s large feral feline population

Shuswap Paws Rescue Society fixed and adopted out about 500 cats in 2019

Summerland taxes expected to rise by 4.0%

Increase to add an estimated $77.73 to typical tax bill

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

Tourism visits to the Thompson/Okanagan up 18 per cent year-over-year

In 2019, almost 11.4 million people spent at least one night visiting the region

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

Most Read