Nelson Council Set to Decrease Cannabis Business License Fees

Nelson City Hall building

Nelson City Council has moved to decrease business license fees for recreational cannabis retail, but what could be next for the overarching business licensing process?

First three readings has been passed to decrease annual cannabis retail license fees from $2500 to $210; roughly a 91% drop to match Nelson's retail wine and beer license fees.

A question from City Councillor Kate Tait heard Mayor Janice Morrison express the desire to take a deeper look at all business licensing moving forwards:

“I have asked staff to try and fit it into the 2024 work plan, that we would have a complete review of all business licences for the City of Nelson…. There just was no room on the work plan. Hopefully there will be going forward and maybe we’ll have discussions even in budgeting about whether or not we actually use a summer student or we look at some other options of coming in to do any kind of background research that may be needed as we look at a complete review of our business licencing process.”

City Manager Kevin Cormack says the road ahead looks busy, but it isn't a hard "no":

“I don’t believe its on development services work plan for 2024 so council would have to look at how you could create capacity, obviously with the OCP (Official Community Plan) etcetera there’s a fair amount on their work plan but I can certainly talk about it.”

City Staff says Nelson’s cannabis retail fees were found to be significantly higher when compared to those of neighbouring municipalities.

Staff will determine when and how a review of the whole business licensing process should best take place in the future.