There are now four cannabis retail stores proposed for downtown Salmon Arm – the maximum number allowed by city policy.
At their Monday, Dec. 3 development and planning committee meeting, the city’s mayor and council received three new cannabis retail store application referrals from the B.C. Liquor Cannabis Licensing Branch. The first was for a store in Canoe, while the other two were for stores in the downtown – within the “Core Commercial Area” identified in the city’s Cannabis Store Retail Policy.
The first of downtown applications was from Jeff Horricks for a store at 191 Shuswap St. – the location of Eden, one of several cannabis product retailers operating in the city until Oct. 17, when federal regulations for the legalized sale of non-medicinal cannabis came into effect.
City development services director Kevin Pearson explained the Eden location is supported by city zoning and the official community plan, as well as the cannabis policy – which allows up to four in the core.
“I should mention over the time that it was known that this business was selling cannabis, the city received no complaints, no nuisance complaints; however, there was some concern expressed by another applicant on the fact that this store was able to operate as a cannabis retail store before the adoption of the federal cannabis act,” commented Pearson.
To this, Mayor Alan Harrison reminded council “the provincial direction is that we not be… either for or against an application regardless of whether they were open prior to the deadline.”
The second downtown application was from applicant Mark Pugh for a cannabis retail store in the former Dough Boys Pizza location at 81 Shuswap St. SW.
“We did take some time – my partner Sunny Dhaliwal, many of you know, did take some time, met with the neighbours and had a chat with them and there was no opposition,” commented Pugh.
Pearson noted if this application is approved, city policy will not support more stores in the core. Previously, council supported applications for The Greenery Cannabis Boutique at 190 Trans-Canada Hwy. (the former UPS location), and from Salmon Arm Liquor Store Ltd. for a cannabis retail store at 111 Lakeshore Dr. NE.
“When we were dealing with our proposed bylaw and had the community input, I think one of the concerns was that there could be a whole street of cannabis retailers,” commented Coun. Kevin Flynn. “What’s interesting is we’ve allowed four in the downtown. It will be interesting if we get a fifth or sixth application for the area that clearly states four in the policy.”
The Canoe proposal was from applicant Jeff Phillips for a cannabis retail store in a separate space of the Canoe Village Market building at 50th Street NE.
Pearson said this location is supported by city zoning, the official community plan and the cannabis policy.
Council supported all three of the applications, which will proceed to public hearings on Monday, Dec. 10, during the evening meeting of council beginning at 7.
Pearson noted there was an additional ask from the province for the above applications not included with the first three – that a statement be provided saying council has considered the impact the proposed cannabis retail outlets would have on the community.
“If these applications meet all our guidelines and if we have a public hearing, we’ve done our due diligence with regards to community impact,” commented Flynn.