Whistler will finally see its first cannabis retail stores in 2022.
At its Dec. 7 meeting, council will hear a presentation on a new cannabis retail strategy for the resort outlining a proposed regulatory approach.
Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) staff are recommending a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) approach, which “could be implemented more quickly than one based on rezoning, and the approval time for each individual retail location would be quicker as well,” reads a staff report to council.
The TUPs would authorize cannabis stores for an initial three-year period, with an option to be renewed for another three years. After six years, the RMOW could consider site-specific zoning to authorize the use permanently.
The proposed framework would require an amendment to the RMOW’s zoning bylaw to create designated areas for the cannabis TUPs. Staff are proposing to allow one cannabis retail location in each of Function Junction and Creekside and two locations in Whistler Village. Nesters Plaza may also be considered.
“This allocation of locations will ensure access to retail cannabis for residents and visitors, while limiting proliferation,” the report reads. “Distancing requirements between cannabis locations can be added to avoid clustering of the two locations in the Village.”
Staff will undertake a two-step public engagement process in early 2022 prior to presenting the proposed framework to council later in the year.
While cannabis was officially legalized in Canada on Oct. 17, 2018, the RMOW passed a zoning amendment bylaw in early 2018 prohibiting the retail sale of cannabis, allowing local officials to control where and when pot shops are introduced to the resort.
Pick up next week's Pique for more.