Several Vernon councillors are leery of waiting for two of Vernon’s 14 cannabis shops to register a covenant.
City administration has been working with the shops on that process, but Coun. Scott Anderson believes there should be a deadline for pot shops to either comply or be shut down.
“My understanding is that if they are not closed at the time of legalization, that there’s a point of law that allows them to grandfather in no matter what we do,” Anderson said at the May 14 council meeting.
City staff say they are working with the shops in question to work towards the temporary use permit and are looking at implementing hard dates.
“I’m just curious why we’re accommodating them,” Coun. Dalvir Nahal said. “If they’re not complying, why are we working with them? Why don’t we just shut them down?”
Mayor Akbal Mund said part of the problem is some of the shops have landlords, which may live out of town, and before the registration can proceed the owners need to approve.
However, Coun. Catherine Lord said the clock is ticking.
“My concern with that would be that, once the legislation comes down, sometimes we don’t get an awful lot of notice, it’s down within a week, and then all of a sudden you’ve got the issue,” Lord said. “We need to have something in place to make sure that they are not grandfathered in.”
Staff will report back at the next council meeting with updates.