Port Coquitlam to vote on banning pot paraphernalia

While the Canadian federal government is expected to table legislation on recreational cannabis use by the spring, in the meantime a small city east of Vancouver wants to ban the sale of rigs, vapes and other instruments used to get high.

A report from Port Coquitlam city staff is recommending city council begin prohibiting the “sale and distribution of marijuana products and paraphernalia” by retail operations within a city whose motto, ironically, is “Working Together For The Future.”

The recommendations will be presented to city councillors at a Feb. 2 meeting at City Hall (2580 Shaughnessy Street) beginning at 5 p.m.

The report co-written by manager of planning Jennifer Little and manager of bylaw services Paula Jones states: “A number of retail establishments currently display and sell marijuana or drug related paraphernalia as part of their permitted general retails uses. The City has also received enquires from those who wish to establish a marijuana paraphernalia retail business, often referred to as “vape shops,” as a precursor to eventual retail sales of marijuana products. In several recent cases, there is evidence to suggest that shops have been keeping marijuana on premises or distributing/selling marijuana on premises. The City could better control the current and long term impact of marijuana sales by also prohibiting these uses for now. ”

Last November, Port Coquitlam city councillors passed a motion that allows for fines for landlords found renting their properties for illegal purposes, including cannabis dispensaries.

A Cannabis Culture outlet was raided by RCMP the same month and, while no arrests were made, products were seized as part of an investigation into the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The dispensary is also receiving daily $150 fines from the city for operating without a business license.

The report added new regulations may need to be revisited after changes to federal laws prohibiting recreational adult cannabis use.