Smooth transition so far in Revelstoke after cannabis legalization

Notifications for first Revelstoke cannabis retail location to be sent out soon; city has received no bylaw complaints so far regarding public use

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Photo: Wesley Gibbs

The transition to recreational cannabis use legalization has been a smooth one for Revelstoke so far, say local regulatory authorities.

The City of Revelstoke’s director of corporate administration Dawn Low says so far there have been no complaints received regarding cannabis use in public spaces. City bylaw operates on a complaint-basis, but Low said bylaw officers will also provide the public with education regarding the new laws.

Recreational use of cannabis is regulated under the city’s Clean Air Bylaw. Brochures explaining the local rules are available at the Revelstoke Tourism Information Centre. The city also made the Clean Air Bylaw its “bylaw of the month” during the month of November, said Low. You can still access the page by visiting revelstoke.ca, then choosing Bylaw Enforcement Services from the city services drop-down menu.

Revelstoke RCMP Staff-Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky said police have not seen a considerable change in the community since the legalization of cannabis. Grabinsky told the Mountaineer that Revelstoke RCMP continue to seize illegal cannabis when necessary and have issued violation tickets for consumption in a vehicle, and to drivers where they have cannabis accessible while operating the vehicle.

How are Revelstoke RCMP managing the transition to legalization?

Grabinsky said the police officers have had a great deal to learn with the recent introduction of federal legalization and municipal bylaws. The detachment commander said Revelstoke RCMP are continuously reviewing documents to clearly understand the laws, seek legal expertise when necessary, and are providing the public with some educational information. The police encourage those with questions to seek out official websites.

Revelstoke RCMP has also met with local liquor establishments to discuss the new Cannabis Act and ensure the laws are being followed to help maintain public safety.

Possible cannabis business in the works for downtown Revelstoke

The City of Revelstoke has received several serious inquiries regarding recreational cannabis retail storefronts, but so far only one official application. Applications for cannabis sales are regulated through the B.C. government’s Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch and are referred to the city for comment and consideration. At the time of publication, Low said the city was currently putting together notifications to be sent out to businesses and residents in the vicinity of the proposed downtown location. Low said so far the process has been smooth as the cannabis regulations are based on the already existing ones for liquor licensing.

While the proposed recreational cannabis retail storefront still has a number of steps before approval can happen, Low said if the city turns it down then the BC Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch will also deny the application. However, should the application meet all of the requirements, including those around distance from public places frequented by children and youth, it’s unlikely that would happen.

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