Quesnel has it’s first application for a cannabis retail store.
It would be located at 308 McLean Street which is the same address as the Billy Barker Casino.
City Council has unanimously agreed to advance it to the next stage which is to undergo a cannabis retail license application process.
Tanya Turner is the City’s Director of Development Services…
“We have notified the Liquor and Cannabis regulation branch that we will accept that application, as per Council’s previous decision at the November 20th meeting. The zoning bylaw needs to be amended to approve the application and a consultation process is required. Staff is recommending drafting a policy to permit cannabis retail in three zones…the downtown, West Quesnel and Highway commercial zones.”
Council opted to pre-zone these three areas rather than go with spot zoning, which would have run concurrently with the cannabis license process.
Turner says by pre-zoning, Council still gets to decide which applications go ahead…
“Which will give you the same power to look at the regulations in terms of distances, you can still guide staff in terms of the number of stores etc, through a policy decision. The reason i’m saying that is things are changing so much and we are trying to grasp what we want. By putting this into a policy we will be able to be more flexible in changing the policy, instead of having to go back to a zoning amendment to change it.”
Turner says this is similar to what Kamloops is doing.
Council decided against limiting the number of stores to just one in each zone.
Turner says one more application is expected soon.