The City of Penticton is allowing 14 cannabis retail stores to set up shop, switching to a capped system due to an amendment made to the city’s cannabis retail sales policy at the May 21 meeting. Previously, the city relied on a buffer zone and scoring matrix to limit the number of stores within the city. (Black Press file image)

Penticton sets cap of 14 cannabis stores, removes buffer zone

The city previously relied on a buffer zone and scoring matrix to limit number of stores

The City of Penticton is moving to a capped system for its cannabis retail stores, meaning only 10 more businesses will be permitted to set up shop in the city.

During a city council meeting, on May 21,council voted to amend the city’s cannabis retail sales policy to allow a total of 14 cannabis stores in the city, seven in the downtown and seven outside of it.

Previously, the city relied on a buffer zone and scoring matrix to limit the number of cannabis retail stores, but council took issue with this method because, in some instances, stores with lower matrix scores were being recommended over stores with higher ones.

“I have always believed that the market should dictate which of these businesses survive and which of them don’t,” said Coun. Campbell Watt. “Having said that, I think that we’re actually taking baby steps to finally accomplish that. It seems like we’re moving from large buffers to no buffers with a cap.”

During May 16 meeting, council approved four cannabis stores – Green Gaia, Cannabis Cottage, Spiritleaf and B.C. Cannabis Store – and deferred four other applications which came into conflict with the previous policy’s approval process due to their locations within the buffer zone. As a result of this amendment, council will have the chance to review these deferred applications for approval or denial at a future meeting.

READ MORE: Penticton approves four cannabis store locations

“There was some concern expressed by council (on May 16) that the buffering zones were creating mini monopolies around each store and not creating enough competition amongst the stores,” said Blake Laven, the city’s planning manager.

Coun. Katie Robinson was not in favour of the policy change, and repeatedly referred back to the 2018 public consultation the city conducted which found that the majority of participants wanted to move slowly with permitting cannabis sales in Penticton. It was noted that 28 per cent of participants said they’d like to see less cannabis stores than liquor stores, while the rest either wanted no limit or just as many cannabis stores as liquor stores.

“They said yes they want it now that it’s legal, but with limitations. And (the previous policy) gave us those limitations,” said Robinson

Of the four cannabis stores already approved, two are located in the downtown and two are not. Watt said he’d like to see the cap eventually lifted once a few stores are open, in order to let the market dictate which businesses will succeed, and to garner new public feedback on the cannabis retail sales policy.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Thunderstorm leaves small fire near Adams Lake in its wake

Wildfire crews are also fighting a small fire near Kamloops

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Heat, sun and a chance of thunderstorms for Father’s Day

Morning pancake breakfasts and fishing derbies across the region will see sun, showers may follow.

Dedicated Girl Guide leader recognized with Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

Maryann Brock has volunteered with Girl Guides for 37 years

$30,000 donation for outdoor classroom in Salmon Arm to honour beloved teacher

Funds from Armstrong Regional Co-op to go to the Shannon Sharp Learning Circle

New South Shuswap community park proposed for Blind Bay

Regional district proposes the purchase of 9.5 acres now known as Centennial Field

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Police seek two suspects and car after stabbing in Kelowna

The stabbing took place on Friday evening on Wilson Avenue. It sent one man to hospital.

Okanagan pitcher tosses second no-hitter of season

Vernon’s Jarod Leroux has two no-nos in his last three starts for the BCPBL’s Okanagan Athletics

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Summerland Health Care Auxiliary completes hospital donation pledge early

$1M contribution to medical equipment campaign completed half a year earlier than expected

Letter: Writer argues biosolids will damage water, soil

Turtle Valley residents lost the first battle with Nutrigrow/Arrow Transport when our… Continue reading

PacificSport and SportHealth team up to subsidize physiotherapy for members

The partnership is touted as the first of its kind in Salmon Arm

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland ready for dry summer conditions

Province has declared Level Two drought, but Summerland has not increased watering restrictions

Most Read