Pemberton Faces Pot Predicament

Article by Megan Lalonde, Whistler Question

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A request sent to the Village of Pemberton (VOP) council has presented officials with a hot topic for debate.

In a letter presented at the VOP’s Oct. 4 council meeting, Joseph Le asked officials to consider amending the VOP zoning bylaw governing the licensing of businesses to allow for medial cannabis dispensaries to open up in Pemberton’s downtown core.

Le — the owner of S.W.E.D. Society, an upscale medicinal marijuana dispensary chain that already operates five stores in Toronto and one in Downtown Vancouver — is hoping his request will prompt council to follow other B.C. municipalities that have amended their bylaws in the past two years, such as Vancouver, Victoria, and Squamish.

“These communities have taken action to enable patient access to medicinal cannabis as well as to ensure that cannabis related businesses operate in a manner that does not in any way compromise public safety,” he wrote. “We encourage the Village of Pemberton to take early action and emerge as a leader in its views and bylaws toward granting patients access to medicinal cannabis.”

Le said he believes amending local bylaws to allow medicinal cannabis business to operate in town would be “a natural progression” for Pemberton, which already has a bylaw in place that allows cannabis production facilities licensed by Health Canada to operate.

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