At least seven organizations are applying for permission to set up marijuana dispensaries in Penticton.
Planning manager Blake Laven is preparing a report, expected to go before council on Dec. 6, laying out the seven applications the city has received for permission to operate marijuana dispensaries under a temporary use permit.
Six of the applications are downtown, with three on Westminster Avenue, one on Martin Street and two on Main Street in the 400 and 500 blocks.
The seventh application is by Avitas Pharmaco, who are requesting a TUP to continue operating in Village Square as they were before the city’s crackdown this summer.
Along with three other dispensaries, Avitas had their business licence revoked in July after city staff found they were selling marijuana. Despite promised legalization at the federal level, storefront pot sales remain illegal.
Council backed the cancellation of business licenses, but also asked staff to look into ways to allow the popular dispensaries to operate in the city. The solution is a temporary use permit, allowing council to approve the applications individually and setting out the terms of their ability to operate.
Laven said people nearby the proposed locations will be notified and have a chance to speak when the applications are brought before council. Seven might seem like a lot, he said, but according to his research, there are already seven dispensaries operating in Vernon and two compassion clubs.
Victoria, he said, has one dispensary per 3,300 people.
“If all seven get approved, we would be at one per 4,800 people,” said Laven.
Those approvals could come as soon as the Dec. 6 meeting, unless council chooses to delay. After receiving a TUP, the dispensary operators would still have to apply for a business licence, which Laven said may cost more than the basic $175 licence.
“We are also asking that council amend the fees and charges bylaw to have a $5,000 (business licence) fee for a dispensary, said Laven, adding that a number of conditions will go along with the permit: age of entry; security and other safety factors.