COMOX, B.C. – The applicants of a proposed non-medical cannabis retail store at the Comox Mall spoke to town council members Wednesday night.

Krystian Wetulani and Shamus Dowler of City Cannabis appeared as a delegation, and answered questions from Comox councillors.

Councillor Alex Bissinger asked if there would be a way to minimize odours emanating from the product.

“Everything comes pre-packaged,” Wetulani said. “So everything comes from the liquor distribution branch already pre-packed. There will be no open product, no smell inside.”

Councillor Pat McKenna refuted that claim: “There will be a smell inside, I’ve been inside stores and pre-packed product does smell. Is there mitigating things to what councillor Bissinger said?”

Dowler said equipment such including a filtration system will be in place to minimize the smell.

“What I heard the most is the aroma, and that’s the biggest offence,” McKenna added.

Wetulani said that once open, the store will have an “Apple mentality” in which, when someone walks into the store “you are going to get a staff member with an iPad approach (you) right away. They have aprons, they’re very knowledgeable, they are kind of the face of our location.”

Dowler said City Cannabis is already licensed with the province, “so that back end is already done, so now it’s just a matter of going through the town level (including) building permits. We (want to ) get into that space as soon as we can. We expect a four-to-six week turnaround, or less.”

The applicants are requesting operating hours from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.., seven days a week at its location at 215 Port Augusta St.

A crucial part of the licensing process is the blessing from local governments and Indigenous nations.

Section 33(1) of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act prevents the LCRB from issuing a license without positive recommendation regarding the license application from the local government or local First Nation.

Later in the meeting, council voted unanimously that staff be directed to gather the views of town residents on the store through the placement of local advertising, and mail-out or hand delivery of a notice of request for written public comment to property owners and tenants within 75 metres of the subject property.