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Bylaw in Canadian City Could Fine Cannabis License Violators

Bylaw in Canadian City Could Fine Cannabis License Violators

Dina Al-Shibeeb
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With a population of at least 90,000, Kamloops city in British Columbia has its councilors voting in favor of a new bylaw late Tuesday. The bylaw could fine cannabis business license violators up to $10,000 ahead of a nationwide legalization of marijuana in Canada

The mayor of Kamloops has defended a new marijuana bylaw. This allows fines for cannabis business license violations to soar as high as $10,000, a local website reported on Wednesday.

Kamloops, located at the south-central part of British Columbia, had its council voting, a 5-3 decision, after a Tuesday night public hearing at its major venue facility Sandman Centre ahead of a nationwide legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada.

The new fine regime has changed to range from $200 to $10,000 “per business license bylaw offenses,” the Mayor Ken Christian said.

But in defence, Christian said “it’s not a money grab from the perspective of the City of Kamloops.”

“I think our staff uses a system of progressive enforcement, and what we’re trying to do is just get people’s behavior to change and obey the law,” he added.

The councilors also voted 7-1 in favor of creating a new zoning definition for dispensaries or the retail sale of marijuana.

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“Landlords are going to be looked to having business licenses for renting spaces, and they’re supposed to be renting it to people who are obeying the law and having business licenses,” Christian cautioned.

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Councillors of the city of Kamloops discuss a marijuana bylaw at Sandman Centre. via CFJC Today

The councilors also voted 6-2 in favor of receiving more information in order to offer temporary use permits to dispensaries before the legalization of cannabis in the country.

Kamloops is one of the few issuing these binding bylaws as Canadian cities are still grappling on how to amend its laws ahead of the legalization of  marijuana in the summer of 2018. The western province of Alberta is still mulling whether to accept marijuana consumption at its hotels.

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