Courtenay city council are pictured during their meeting on December 3rd, 2018. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio
COURTENAY, B.C- The first green light has been given to a provincial cannabis store at the Superstore plaza.
The proposal is for 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.
The application is the second of nine being processed by Courtenay’s municipal government for cannabis retail.
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.
It was up for discussion during Tuesday’s council meeting, and was given a green light and sent to public hearing without any opposition from council members.
Courtenay mayor Bob Wells believed that it would come back quickly for a public hearing, within two council meetings. He also didn’t have any concerns with the proposal, given that it fit all city policy created for cannabis retail so far.
“This is playing out how we thought it would, the government would legalize and then we’d hopefully have our ducks in a row,” said Wells.
“Although legalization was back in October, these applications have been coming in ever since.”
Asked about whether or not Courtenay would consider raising the limit on the number of cannabis retail operations, given the current restriction of four private shops, one government shop, and more applications still coming, Wells indicated no changes are coming just yet.
“I think we’ve created this policy, we’d probably adhere to this policy,” said Wells.
“I think one of the reasons for the policy is to actually see how things play out, and some of it is best practices from other communities that have already gone through this process, so I don’t think we’re really in any mind to be expanding it without finding out how it impacts our community beforehand.”
The next step in the approval process will be a public hearing for the application.