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HomeNewsQuesnel Council Gives It's Blessing To Yet Another Marijuana Store

Quesnel Council Gives It’s Blessing To Yet Another Marijuana Store

Quesnel City Council has now approved a fifth application for a cannabis retail store.

This one is for 213 St. Laurent Avenue in downtown Quesnel.

Unlike the other applications there was a little bit of opposition to this one.

Director of Development Services Tanya Turner noted that of the 136 notices that were sent out to tenants and property owners in the area, 24 came back with 19 in favour and five opposed.

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There were also some people who were opposed in the gallery at last night’s Council meeting.

The application did however, meet the test of the city’s bylaw in terms of how far it was from residences and schools and was unanimously approved, despite the concerns of some Councillors, including Martin Runge…

“We’ve approved four cannabis locations to date and none of them have opened their doors, which actually leaves us with no data to make informed decisions about some of the potential issues to the community. We know too little about the associated costs or benefits to Quesnel. I believe our application process is fair, but having seen the time lags and considering some of the unknowns, I feel it may be time for Council to look at ways of slowing or temporarily pausing our application process.
It doesn’t mean shut it down, just slow it down and maybe not now, maybe for the next one with a simple amendment that would limit the number of active applications that we allow.”

Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg and others questioned the economics of having five.

Councillor Ron Paull noted that it would work itself out…

“I think the free market is going to determine that. I can say that I wouldn’t be putting in an application for number six, that’s for sure.”

Mayor Bob Simpson felt it wouldn’t be fair to say no at this point…

“Part of my concern is when we passed that bylaw we made it known to the proponents, to the people who want to invest capital, that we were open for business, so I don’t think it’s fair to the current proponents to then suddenly say, because now we’ve got cold feet and we’re not sure and so on, that we stop this midstream. This meets the tests of the current bylaw and should out of fairness and due process advance just like the others were advanced.”

Simpson also invited a resolution, in response to Council’s concerns, to re-visit the bylaw without a proposal in front of them.

That motion also passed unanimously.

The other applications, for those keeping score at home, are next to the casino in downtown Quesnel, two in South Quesnel, one on Chew Road and the other on Rita, as well as a government store in the West Park Mall in West Quesnel.

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