The Langley Township has been part of the so-called B.C.’s access deserts since the marijuana legalization back in October 2018. Across a big portion of British Columbia’s southern coast lies an area where the cannabis industry hasn’t been able to set up shop due to municipalities refusing to give access to private entities and corporations to open licensed cannabis retail stores on their territories.
The municipalities part of this cannabis prohibition are:
West Vancouver, Richmond, Delta, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Surrey, the Township of Langley, the City of Langley, Abbotsford, Whistler nestled up north in the Rockies and the municipality of Hope all refuse local access to legalized cannabis stores.
Various players of the industry came forward critiquing the councils for the close-minded approach to a now federally legalized substance and their lack of actions in allowing the industry’s operators to establish themselves in those municipalities will evidently drive the consumers towards the illicit market. Another issue brought up is the questionable quality of the black market products and lack of testing can lead to an unsafe and tainted product.
A survey was done in late 2019 by Statistics Canada asked British Columbia cannabis users where were they getting their cannabis from, 64 percent responded acquiring it from illegal sources.
There are always the options of using the delivery service but it can take several days for the orders to get to your door from the government-run B.C. Cannabis online store. An argument has been made to allow licenced stores to start doing delivery services directly to the consumers and take back part of the market share held in a strong majority by the illicit market. The product would be safe and tested and conform to the proper labelling and packaging standards adopted by the Ministry of Public Safety.
British Columbia could learn from some of the already successful provinces like Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario in legal cannabis deliveries where you can access safe and regulated products shipped within the day in some cases.
Langley Township is now moving forward with a single application out of 20 applicants to the next stage of approval in the Carvolth area. The second shop approved by the city council will be located at 8660 201st Street after the rezoning application was given the final approval.
Several other applications got voted against by the council, including the Walnut Grove, Willowbrook, Fort Langley locations and a few other applications in the same Carvolth and Aldergrove area.
Earlier last year the Township council agreed on allowing up to eight cannabis stores, equally dividing them as per one per neighbourhood.
The other location in Aldergrove, situated at 3227 264 St. got its fair share of drama in its approval process at the Township’s council after the first vote of the rezoning approval ended in a tie and could’ve potentially stopped the applications in its track. Four votes in favour and four votes against, as one of the council members was absent on the day of the vote leaving an even number of voters. A second vote was needed and this time the motion passed with one voter switching sides in favour of the applicants. This now leaves the Langley Township retail cannabis store counts at two and the residents should expect to be able to visit a licensed retail cannabis store before the end of the year 2021.
In the meantime, you can find visit Leafythings for more information regarding available services in your area.