Later this year, Langley Township council will settle down to consider exactly what rules will govern the sale of retail cannabis in this community.
It’s been a bit of a wait, and not just for cannabis consumers in Langley who are likely tired of getting their product via mail order or long trips to the few existing stores.
Langley is already a big part of the new legal recreational cannabis industry, but so far only through production. There are already several large greenhouse complexes that were involved in medical cannabis production, and other companies are ramping up to grow for the recreational market.
Yet when it comes to the actual sale of the product, we don’t know what will happen.
Municipal governments have been given a significant amount of power over to what extent marijuana can be sold out of brick-and-mortar stores.
Should there be government-run stores? Private retail? Should the numbers be limited by zoning, or allowed in most neighbourhoods, as we allow pubs and liquor and beer and wine stores?
The issue is not whether there’s a right answer, it’s the fact that Langley doesn’t have an answer at all yet.
Those who want to buy cannabis will doubtless have opinions, along with those who still disapprove of its use. Possible neighbours of cannabis shops would probably like to know how any new retail system will work out. Would-be cannabis entrepreneurs would doubtless like some clarity on the issue.
The Township should get down to brass tacks on this problem as soon as possible – at the very least, by encouraging people to write in or speak up about their preferences. The sooner we get some rules, the more certainty everyone will have.