Surrey, British Columbia, moves to allow legal cannabis retail

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Surrey, the second-biggest city in the Canadian province of British Columbia, will allow legal cannabis stores after unanimous Council approval.

The city’s new cannabis retail framework OK’d on Monday will permit two stores for each of Surrey’s six town centers, for a total of 12 stores.

City staff had originally proposed six stores but increased the number after public consultations.

Surrey will now launch a screening and evaluation process for marijuana retail applicants as well as plans to accept applications during the second quarter of this year.

A city manager said the number of stores could potentially be increased in the future, CBC News reported.

Surrey, a notable cannabis retail holdout among Canadian municipalities, joins other cities that have changed their minds about banning regulated marijuana stores.

The major city of Mississauga, Ontario overturned its ban in 2023.

The B.C. government currently lists 510 cannabis stores as open for business, including 82 in the province’s biggest city, Vancouver.

British Columbians spent roughly 798 million Canadian dollars ($585 million) on legal cannabis during 2023, or 15.7% of all Canadian recreational marijuana spending that year.