CANNABIS RETAIL PETITION A petition is circulating in Summerland, asking for limits on the number and location of retail cannabis stores in the community. (John Arendt /Summerland Review)

Petition urges limits on retail cannabis stores in Summerland

Ban on downtown stores, increased regulations in other areas proposed

A petition is circulating asking for changes to the regulations governing cannabis stores in Summerland, in an effort to keep retail cannabis shops out of the downtown core.

On Wednesday, Roch Fortin and others began circulating a petition about cannabis retail regulations after they noticed a sign announcing a proposed retail shop on Victoria Road North, near Main Street.

READ ALSO: Regulations vary for cannabis retail stores

Fortin says he is not opposed to cannabis retail outlets, but instead has concerns about the locations where retail shops should be allowed.

He said Summerland’s downtown area is not appropriate for cannabis retail stores.

There are two schools near the downtown core as well as the library branch, recreation facility and a park with a children’s playground area.

“We should have thought about a possible exclusion zone downtown,” Fortin said.

Summerland’s bylaw on cannabis stores was passed last fall and does not set out limits on cannabis shops beyond the limits for other retail operations and the limits within the provincial regulations.

The petition also calls for a limit on the number of cannabis retail outlets in Summerland and a minimum distance of at least 750 metres between retail stores.

READ ALSO: Summerland ready for marijuana sales

READ ALSO: Lake Country, Enderby, Summerland racing to have first cannabis store in Okanagan

Before marijuana was legalized in Canada in October, 2018, Summerland had a bylaw and a policy in place to govern retail sales of cannabis.

The bylaw allows retail sales of cannabis in the downtown commercial area and at the Summerfair Shopping Centre.

In addition, stores are not allowed close to schools or other places where children gather.

However, there are no limits on the number of retail stores allowed in Summerland, nor are there regulations governing how close one shop may be to another.

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