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Society voluntarily closes doors ahead of pot legalization

CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – The Giving Plant Society in Campbell River has closed voluntarily, with the legalized sale of recreational marijuana just around the corner.

Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17.

With two locations in Campbell River – 820 13th Avenue and 2210A South Island Hwy – the society was a medical marijuana dispensary servicing the city and surrounding area.

According to management, the society’s aim is to carefully follow the rules ahead of legalization in order to get licensing, and then open again with a different name.

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The application has been submitted to the city, and the hope is to receive a license. A provincial license has already been approved by the Provincial Liquor Control and Cannabis Board.

However, City of Campbell River’s development services manager Kevin Brooks said to his knowledge, the City has not received any application from the Giving Plant Society. He was aware that the application is in front of provincial authorities.

“Anyone that’s wanting to open a non-medical cannabis retail store in the province must go through the province for application and when the province receives the application they’ll process it and refer it back to the City for our review,” Brooks said.

Brooks said the City has received three referrals from the province thus far.

“One is for a provincial store, and there’s two private stores being proposed within the community: one in the Willow Point area and one in the Campbellton area,” Brooks said.

The City will be posting the licensed locations on their development applications map on its website.

City of Campbell River communications adviser Julie Douglas noted that its Sept. 24 public meeting and hearing, “Council received feedback from four different groups requesting relaxation of the proposed buffering distance between schools and commercial areas zoned to allow potential cannabis retail stores.”

Public hearing presenters also requested that Council permit locating a cannabis retail store in the Discovery Harbour Shopping Centre.

At the Oct. 1 meeting, Council gave final consideration to proposed amendments to the City’s regulatory bylaws to control retail sales and regulate public consumption in response to the legalization of cannabis.

Council gave third reading and adopted amendments to the Zoning Bylaw, which would allow Discovery Harbour Shopping Centre as a potential location for a cannabis retail store. Council also increased the buffer to 300 metres between schools and potential locations for cannabis retail stores.

Council’s adoption of the amended Zoning Bylaw would permit a cannabis retail outlet at Discovery Harbour Mariner Square, Campbell River Common, and limited access along Dogwood Street and along Hwy. 19A in Willow Point.

At the meeting, Council also gave third reading to amendments to the following:

  • Business Licence Bylaw;
  • Planning Procedures Bylaw;
  • Municipal Smoking Regulation Bylaw;
  • Parks Control Bylaw;

Council will consider adoption of these four regulatory bylaws at the Oct. 22 meeting.

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