City council approves drop in business license fees for cannabis stores

Cannabis store fees to drop

Cannabis store owners will have more cushion in their wallets after Kamloops city council on Tuesday voted in favour of a bylaw amendment authorizing a big drop in annual business license fees.

Mayor and councillors voted 8-0 to lower license fees from $5,000 per year to $196.40 per year. Coun. Bill Sarai was not present at the council meeting because he is away on holidays.

The $5,000 fee has been in place since 2018, when cannabis stores became legal.

According to the city, at the time, the potential impacts of retail cannabis sales were unknown, and it was anticipated the stores may require additional city resources, such as bylaw enforcement and RCMP.

In a statement, Julie McGuire, the city’s community planning manager, said there hasn’t been a need for these extra resources.

“Accordingly, with council’s approval, we’ve adjusted the annual business license fee and brought it into alignment with what is charged for liquor stores,” McGuire said, adding the new fee is now brought into alignment with several other municipalities.

According to the city, there are currently 16 licenses issued for cannabis businesses.

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