Quesnel City Council is expanding where a government run cannabis store can go.
Tanya Turner is the Director of Development Services…
“Following discussions with the Liquor and Cannabis Regulations Branch, for locations for cannabis stores, it was determined that there is minimal vacancy in the downtown at this time, and in order to allow for more potential locations to be considered, we’re recommending that it be expanded to include the C-2 West Quesnel business district zone. This does not rule out the C-3 zone, it’s just adding this other zone.”
Some of the restrictions in the amended bylaw includes not being within 1,000 meters of another cannabis store, within 50 meters of a secondary or junior school, 100 meters of a playground or playfield and 30 meters of a property in a residential zone.
Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg wanted the distance near a school to be increased to 100 from 50, but the majority of Council felt that was too restrictive for the downtown because of the proximity of the Helen Dixon Centre and how tightly wound the downtown core is.
Roodenburg later noted that she has spoken with members of the downtown that would prefer that a cannabis store not be located there.
That prompted the following exchange with Mayor Bob Simpson…
Simpson: “Councillor Roodenburg, I do want to caution you that you cannot speak on the downtown retailers because we had a meeting with them today where we had some members of the Downtown Association say absolutely they would go to the x degree to actually attract it into the downtown core, so i think we need to be very careful in expressing third party conversations.”
Roodenburg: “True enough, these are people expressing concerns to me.”
Simpson: “Again Councillor Roodeburg you are in a situation just now where part of this has implications on restricting the downtown core versus West Quesnel, so i would just caution you that you bring third party information to Council. We have an explicit meeting norm that says you need to bring data. That’s not data, anecdotal information is not data.”
In the end, Council voted in favour of giving second reading to the bylaw change, with only Councillor John Brisco opposed, because he is opposed to the basic idea of the legalization of cannabis.
A public hearing on the bylaw will take place on November 20th in Council chambers.