CANNABIS LOCATION A non-medical cannabis retail store location in Okanagan Falls has received approval from the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen. (Photo submitted)

RDOS approves cannabis location for Okanagan Falls

Concerns about impact of business raised by some in South Okanagan community

An application for a non-medical cannabis retail store in Okanagan Falls has received approval from the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, despite concerns raised by residents of the community.

The application, from Green Light Cannabis Inc., is for a cannabis retail store at 5212 9th Ave., Okanagan Falls, with operating hours from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

The building is to operate in an 81 square metre space, in an existing commercial building.

However, some Okanagan Falls residents have concerns about the proposed business.

READ ALSO: Regulations vary for cannabis retail stores

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“To have this type of development right on the highway, the main street of our community, does not help out here,” said Jamie Weinberger. “We have been trying to get rid of the drug problem that is right next door to this address.”

“The proposed location is next door to a known hub for illegal drug and prostitution activities,” said JoAnn Kleb. “The criminal activity has not been dealt with and the location of a cannabis store on this site would enable and entrench this activity.”

Kevin Lipsett said there are concerns about the location of the facility, since it is close to the elementary school.

“I am concerned about the safety of my children and feel that there should be a reduction, not an increase, in the number of retail outlets for substances that are often abused.”

Ron Obirek, director for Electoral Area D, which includes Okanagan Falls, said despite the concerns raised, the community is in support of the application.

“What I’ve noticed in the community is broad support for this, but the people who are opposed are very loud,” he said.

The application received approval at the regional district.

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