COURTENAY, B.C- The provincial government wants to sell cannabis in the Comox Valley.

During today’s meeting of Courtenay city council, a rezoning application will be coming up for discussion. The location is in Unit 105 of the Washington Park Shopping Centre, which holds the Real Canadian Superstore. The unit, which is currently vacant, is next to Ricky’s All Day Grill.

The province’s Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) is asking the city to rezone the property and allow for a storefront cannabis retailer. Unlike private applicants, the store would not need a license from the province to operate, but the LDB is still expected to work with local governments in order to meet their requirements.

“To date, the City has received a total of nine (9) rezoning applications for storefront cannabis retailer within the City,” read the report on the matter.

“The Planning department is processing the applications on a first come first served basis. The subject application is the second rezoning application made to the City.”

With a total of six to 12 employees, the store would be open 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., seven days a week. It would have a manager, assistant manager, and “cannabis consultants”, and people without ID or minors would not be allowed, even with their parent or guardian.

Interior of the store, sourced from city report.

According to the city staff report on the proposal, it fits all city policies, and there have been no objections raised by the public. However, one resident did raise a concern about the possible traffic challenges of the area.

“Staff recognize the inefficiency of the access from/to Ryan road, however, staff is of the opinion that the proposed rezoning would not require immediate improvements in terms of traffic control in the vicinity,” read the report.

“Based on the result of the application review, staff believe the proposed store is consistent with the intent of the policy and recommends the bylaw proceed to public hearing.”

There is one another cannabis retail application being processed within 400 metres of the location. The owner of the unit for the provincial shop has also confirmed there are no other regulations beyond the city’s own public nuisance bylaw.

“If there are customers smoking or loitering outside the store, the employees are instructed to contact mall security or mall management and request that they deal with the loiterers or panhandlers or simply ask them to leave the property,” read the report.

“If the problem persists, staff are instructed to contact police and/or store’s Corporate Loss Prevention investigator.”

It remains to be seen what council will make of the proposal.