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In the closest vote of the evening, Merritt City Council voted 4-3 in favour of starting a long process to remove the self-imposed cap on retail cannabis stores in Merritt.

In favour of removing the cap was Mayor Linda Brown and Councillors Tony Luck, Kurt Christopherson, and Travis Fehr. Councillors Melvina White, Adam Etchart, and Mike Bhangu opposed the change.

When recreational cannabis was made legal in Canada the City of Merritt brought forward several new bylaws one of which included a cap of four retail locations in the City.

At that time Mayor Brown was opposed to the limit and was pleased to see the motion pass yesterday evening.

“I was against putting the cap in and I still am. I don’t see why we need to cap marijuana; we haven’t capped any other industry in town, we’ve only capped this one. It makes absolutely no sense to me, and I’m not in favour of maintaining that cap,” said Brown.

Coun. White did not agree with the statement that no type of business should be capped in the City.

“My position is that we control how many liquor stores can be open and as far as I'm concerned marijuana is in the same category and I’m against removing the cap,” said White.

The motion passed will begin a long process to amend the bylaw which will include a public hearing following the second reading of the bylaw.


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