Retail marijuana shops prohibited in West Vancouver
Brandon Bartelds smokes three joints at once while attending the 4-20 annual marijuana celebration, in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday April 20, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
West Vancouver has decided to prohibit the production and retail sale of cannabis.
Councillors voted unanimously this week to ban anyone from opening a pot shop unless they first appear before council and ask permission.
Critics fear that discouraging legal marijuana sales will only bring organized crime to the affluent North Shore community.
But a number of other cities on B.C.'s South Coast have taken a similar approach, including Richmond, North Vancouver, Delta and Abbotsford.
The province's marijuana legislation gives local governments final say on where, when and how pot shops can operate in their cities.
It also gives them the ability to block retail sales altogether, even through government-run stores.
The legalization of recreational marijuana is scheduled to take effect nationwide on Oct. 17.